However, Richard insists “people are always looking” to be offended as the trio are “not remotely homophobic”.
In an interview with Metro, he said: “The criticism is just bloody annoying. We are not remotely homophobic! If someone takes something as homophobic… I don’t want to cause offence. To say, ‘oh we need to be really careful not to be homophobic’ would say that we are, so we’re not going to try and set out to avoid that sort of thing because we’re not.
“But to be honest, people are always looking for it.”
He continued: “I think sometimes other people are ready to be offended on other people’s behalf and I don’t think you should be allowed to be if something’s not directed at you; you can’t be offended by proxy.”
Richard was on the receiving end of a backlash in 2016 when he joked that his dislike of ice cream had “something to do with being straight”.
“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.”
But Richard appeared to stand by the joke in the same interview.
He said: “One bloke tweeted me saying, ‘Is your masculinity so fragile?’ Wait Wait, wait – are you saying a gay man can’t be masculine?”. Call my agent, he’s gay and he’s the toughest, most masculine man I’ve met in my life.
“People have to think about more before they leap to the bandwagon and get offended by things because quite often it isn’t.
He added: “But the only other thing I’d say about that is it’s quite easy to forget I live in a privileged bubble where in my world my family, my wife, my daughters – nobody is homophobic, they’re just not.”
Richard previously ran into trouble when he attempted to defend his ice cream comments after he said he didn’t understand why people come out publicly.
“When I hear of people in the media coming out, I think, why do they even feel the need to mention it?” he said.
“It is so old-fashioned to make a big deal of it. That isn’t even an interesting thing to say at a dinner party any more.”
People on Twitter wasted no time explaining to Richard why it is still incredibly important for LGBTQ people to speak about their sexuality.
LGBTQ rights advocate Peter Tatchell previously accused Richard of “pandering to prejudice” in an interview with the BBC, following the ‘ice cream’ incident.
“It’s a perverse world when everyday pleasures like ice cream becomes the butt of homophobic innuendo,” he said.
HuffPost UK’s Daniel Welsh also penned in blog on the topic, calling for Richard to consider that “all of his words have weight and consequence”.
The Grand Tour was also criticised by singer Will Young earlier this year after it aired a scene in which Jeremy, James and Richard suggested that a Jeep Wrangler was a car for gay men, before wheeling out a number of tired stereotypes.
“It’s fucking pathetic and actually homophobic,” Will wrote in a series of impassioned tweets. “How DARE you, you obtuse, bigoted immature babies of men.”
The Grand Tour returns to Amazon Prime Video on 13 December.