Hammond, who co-hosts Amazon Prime series “The Grand Tour” with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, made the eyebrow-raising remarks on his show’s sixth episode, “Happy Finnish Christmas,” which was released Dec. 23, The Guardian reports.
After Clarkson suggested that drivers “couldn’t enjoy a chocolate Magnum ice-cream” in the interior of a luxury car, Hammond replied, “Sir, I don’t eat ice cream. It’s something to do with being straight.”
Watch a snippet of Hammond’s remarks, courtesy of radio producer Ollie Cole, below.
After Hammond’s comment, the audience applauded and laughed somewhat nervously, eventually clapping quite loudly, while Clarkson and May exchanged puzzled looks. Still, Hammond didn’t stop there.
“Ice cream is a bit, you know,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with it, but a grown man eating an ice cream... it’s that way, rather than that way.”
Needless to say, the remarks were not received well on social media. Among those to slam Hammond’s comments was Olly Alexander, the lead singer of the British pop group, Years & Years, who is openly gay.
Others quickly followed suit.
Meanwhile, LGBTQ rights advocate Peter Tatchell accused Hammond of “pandering to prejudice” in an interview with the BBC. “It’s a perverse world when everyday pleasures like ice cream becomes the butt of homophobic innuendo,” he said.
Hammond has yet to respond to the controversy on Twitter or other social media. The Huffington Post has reached out to “The Grand Tour” for comment.
Hate to break it to you, Richard, but your attempt at sweet-natured comedy is leaving behind a decidedly sour taste.