Jeremy Clarkson stated he has “never seen a witch hunt like it” and considers the criticism of Phillip Schofield over his covert relationship with a younger male colleague “weird.”
Writing in The Sunday Times, Clarkson said he does not know Schofield and has “no skin in the fight”, but wrote about the outrage that has followed Schofield’s saga.
“He maintains that his lover was over the age of consent when their relationship became physical, but that hasn’t silenced the howls of disgust,” Clarkson said.
“And I find that weird. We casually roll our eyes when we hear that Leonardo DiCaprio’s new girlfriend is three and we even nod appreciatively when we learn that the age gap between Al Pacino and his pregnant girlfriend is 54 years.”
According to Clarkson, he has never witnessed a “witch hunt” like the one being conducted on the former host of This Morning.
“Everyone who’s ever walked past him in the street must be sacked as well. And those who paid his wages or sat next to him in the studio must be hauled into televised committees so that bramble bushes can be inserted into their bottoms,” Clarkson added.
“I’ve never seen a witch-hunt like it, and what baffles me most of all is that, as things stand, no crime has been committed.
“I don’t know him at all well and have no skin in the game, but it seems to me he is only guilty of being what he said he was: gay.”
He continued by saying that “endless conversations” regarding duty of care and how viewers of This Morning “routinely ignored when they made impassioned cries for help” would be shown to the general public.
The director of television and ITV CEO Carloyn McCall, according to Clarkson, would not have known about the affair.
LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell claimed on Saturday that there is “more than a whiff of homophobia” in the fury towards Schofield.
The former Labour lawmaker claimed that while other high-profile heterosexual partnerships with substantial age gaps had not been treated with such indignation, the couple’s relationship had been “cast as sordid and abusive.”
“There was never such a massive hue and cry over relationships with much younger women by Leonardo Di Caprio, Al Pacino and Peter Stringfellow,” Tatchell said.
The romance started after the man started working at ITV and was “consensual,” according to Schofield, who told The Sun that they had first met when the man was 15 and he was “maybe” in his mid-50s.