British Humor or Damaging Stereotypes? BBC Top Gear

The British program Top Gear on BBC did a humor sketch using Mexican stereotypes that has created national controversies and caused the Mexican embassy to ask the BBC for an apology.

Although the video does hurt all of those who work our brains out, and still have a world stereotype of laziness, we also have to understand British humor.

I really don't care about stereotype jokes, as Mexicans we are good in humor (although British humor we don't get that well) and if there is one thing we know how to do is to laugh at ourselves. I think what offended me was the fact that they were criticizing Mexican design, saying our "Made in Mexico" products should have a negative identity and values transmitted to them. As an Industrial Designer and innovation promoter in our region, they are not only stereotyping my culture, but are creating aversion towards products that is my job to defend and in which I believe.

In Top Gear, they were talking about cars, do they know the amount of cars that get manufactured here in Mexico and exported worldwide? Manufacturing is not design? Check more information on Mastretta Design – Tecnoide SA de CV . I am almost sure the car they showed in the video is actually from Mastretta Design and this company is definitely an example of success, as even the Mexican government and CONACYT have recognized (from where I got the picture). I also think we have a lot of positive values, good humor included, that our design identity can integrate into shapes.

I think we should not give this video great relevance, they are comedians after all, but we should be concerned on how to change the stereotypes, as hard as that can be, proving we are hard workers as well as developing strong product design. We have a long way to go and I see that as a reason and a challenge to my job. As for me, even with all the troubles in Mexico and Latin America which I also expose in this blog, when I wake up and remember I am Mexican, I go and work harder knowing I can make world-wide quality results.


  1. Mike_Barcelona20.2.11

    Oh the big ol' mess about the mastretta. First of all think: "Mastretta". That's a stereotype. Italian cars are good, why not call it Nezahualcoyotl?? Heck no... that sounds mexican. If we want the world to see something else about the mexicans besides the chuby guy taking a nap under a cactus let's start with ourselves. What do you see in a soccer match between Mexico and France?? Yup... mexican guys dressed out with huge hats, making a fool of themselves. Now you get me.
    And yeah, Top Gear guys are comedians, funny thing I didn't see Angela Merkel making statements when Top Gear laughed their ass out about the Porsche cayenne or the Panamera. Perhaps the good lady had something really important to do besides watching TV.

  2. Miss Tensy30.3.11

    well mike, Let's go back to history
    The Mexican culture is a mixture of the worst of your country, more than 500 years ago
    came to Mexico to steal the best the country had: astrological knowledge, culture and
    natural resources to date
    amazed the world and are considered world heritage.
    The Mexicans we work hard every day to erase the mark he left your country and save the tracks of what remains. Your country may take years of evolution in economic, technological and scientific, achievements that with effort and determination will succeed as Mexicans. But the only natural wealth we have here.
    I invite you to visit: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo ... and marvel of the natural wonder will appreciate that only in Mexico, you forget cars and soccer matches.
    Greetings from this beautiful country =D