Richard Hammond has publicly responded following a fierce backlash to comments he made about gay people coming out.
The Former Top Gear host, 47, came under fire this week after an interview with The Sunday Times in which he questioned why gay people “even feel the need to mention” their sexuality.
Those remarks themselves had been an attempt to defend himself from a controversial joke made during the last season of Amazon Prime motoring show The Grand Tour in which he implied a grown man eating ice cream was ‘gay’.
Now, in a new interview with Newsweek, Hammond has responded to the latest furore, insisting he’s not homophobic while failing to apologise for his poorly-worded comments.
He said: “I entirely reject any criticism of me being anti-gay. That’s just not the case. The very last thing I am is in any way anti-gay. And I said I believe that love is love.”
The TV presenter continued: “There are people who are genuinely homophobic and they would disagree with my view that love is love and people are who they are.”
He went on: “You’d have to have your head so buried in the sand not to be aware of the fact there are places in the world where it’s difficult for people to be who they are. I wouldn’t deny that, absolutely. But that isn’t who I was talking about.”
Hammond said he believed a new generation of LGBT do not face homophobia or discrimination in the way they would have in the past.
“Perhaps the point I was trying to make was that sometimes, for older generations it’s been a very different journey to being able to be honest about themselves and they’ve had to fight for it,” he said.
“Whereas there is, and I very much hope so, a generation for whom it isn’t really such an issue. They’re not going to be persecuted on the grounds of their sexuality or miss out on opportunities. They can simply be who they are, and that’s how the world should be.”