During the promotion for the next episode of The Grand Tour, Carnage A Trois, alongside fellow presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond on The Grand Tour, James May has spoken out about racist claims regarding his travel show, Our Man In Japan.
The show, which was released on Amazon Prime Video last year, was met with huge praise as the ex-Top Gear presenter innocently travelled across Japan with the aim to learn about the country’s heritage, people, and way of life.
But comments were made about the director of the show, Tom Whitter, being racist during filming. James discusses why this isn’t true with The Express.
He told them: “I saw online the other day that on the different show, the Japan show I made for Amazon, somebody had accused the director of being racist.
“[He referred] to a Chinese bus when we were in Japan, but actually it was a Chinese bus.”
A small number of viewers took offence at this, thinking that the director was generalising the bus to be Chinese when it was Japanese. But in fact, it was a Chinese bus, with these being popular around the country due to its huge amount of tourism.
The presenter continued: “There’s lots of Chinese tour buses in Japan because it’s very popular with Chinese holidays.
“So somebody will always want to cry racist about things.”
Despite this small hiccup, fans were pleased to see how courteous the show was as it travelled across Japan. James and the team showed nothing but respect to the people of Japan and the country’s beliefs, and it was pure brilliance.
James tells us at the beginning of the show:
“My actual purpose in coming here, because I’m fascinated by the place, is not to simply look at all the tourist sites and go, ‘Ooh, isn’t that lovely and isn’t that unusual.’”
“It’s to actually find out what Japan and being Japanese is about because it is, quite possibly, the most abroad place you can go as a British person.
In another interview, James also confronted questions of racism in the upcoming episode of The Grand Tour which focuses on French cars.
“I am very careful about that sort of thing,” he told the press. “I don’t think we’ve been racist.
“We’ve made fun of the French, yes, but that’s a tradition. They do it to us. I think that’s fair game.
“But I don’t think we’ve been rude about them, we’ve generally been complimentary.
“We like France, and we admire what they do and their cars have been amazing, which they have.”