Jeff Spicer/Getty Images; Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
A British broadcaster has come under fire for his blistering column, saying what 18-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg needed was a "smacked bottom."
Jeremy Clarkson, the 61-year-old journalist known for hosting motoring programs like Top Gear and The Grand Tour, was so incensed by Thunberg's criticism of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit in Glasgow, Scotland, and calling it a "failure."
So Clarkson, who was irritated by her negative assessment of COP26, laid into the young activist in a column for The Sunday Times, and described Thunberg as an "annoying bucket of ego."
That Jeremy Clarkson thought it was ok to write that Greta Thunberg needs "a smacked bottom"...
"I simply don't get the Thunberg phenomenon," carped the broadcaster.
"She has no knowledge of how the world works, no manners and no letters after her name because instead of going to school, she's been busy sailing round the world so she can be mardy and abusive to grown-ups."
"What she needs is a smacked bottom."
Despite agreeing with her opinion of the COP26 being a waste of time, Clarkson faced social media backlash for his bizarre comment slamming Thunberg.
I'm pretty sure that smacking women's bums is sexual assault. Not sure that's something I'd publicly boast about supporting — ScoobyDrew (@ScoobyDrew2) November 8, 2021
Clarkson should stick to wrecking cars — ALL I WANTED WAS A PEPSI (@PaulieTweetz) November 8, 2021
Another old man who can't take that a teenager knows more than him — Clive Brown (@wceebee) November 8, 2021
There's a creepy shivery dirty old man weirdness to Jeremy Clarkson's attempt at humour this week in his rage at Greta Thunberg! — Barbara Owens (@Barbara33834798) November 7, 2021
There are two ways of reading this. I've never met Greta but I have met the annoying bucket of ego. https://t.co/97phisoNbR — Charles Rapson 💙 Hands, Face, Space - Still (@CharlesRapson) November 7, 2021
🤣🤣🤣Clarkson talking about egos oh the Irony ! — Octopus (@DTinmey) November 8, 2021
He should keep his nose out of this as he has a vested interest in fossil fuel wastage. He's probably got sour grapes in that she's more popular & he wants publicity. — Richard Ashton 💙 (@Rik_Ashton) November 8, 2021
And many came to the young activist's defense.
What is it about Greta Thunberg that makes all old guys get angry and defensive? Brilliant to see so many young people in Glasgow caring about this planet. — crailpam (@PamelaW31260390) November 7, 2021
She's making him feel incredibly inadequate 🤣 — Steve Spurgeon 💙 (@Steve_Spud1968) November 7, 2021
On Friday, Thunberg joined other activists for the Fridays for Future climate strike to advocate for climate justice against the backdrop of the COP26 summit—which started on October 31 and runs through November 12.
Following Friday's protest, she spoke in front of demonstrators in Glasgow's George Square and accused the COP26 summit of being a "PR event where leaders are giving beautiful speeches and announcing fancy commitments and targets, while behind the curtains the governments of the global North countries are still refusing to take any drastic climate action."
"COP26 has been named the most exclusionary COP ever. This is no longer a climate conference."
"This is now a global North greenwash festival, a two-week long celebration of business as usual, and blah, blah, blah."