James May, 61, says 'older white blokes' are 'written off' as he makes feelings clear on 'toxic masculinity'

James May, 61, says 'older white blokes' are 'written off' as he makes feelings clear on 'toxic masculinity'

WATCH HERE: James May gives his honest opinion on electric cars

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 26/03/2024

- 09:38

Updated: 26/03/2024

- 10:51

The Grand Tour star was speaking to his co-star and pal Richard Hammond on his new podcast

James May, 61, has waded into the debate surrounding the subject of "toxic masculinity" and whether or not men should feel "guilty" for their previous behaviour.

The former Top Gear star - who recently had to warn fans against a scam using his name - was speaking to his long-serving co-star Richard Hammond, 54, and his daughter Izzy, 23, on their new podcast Who We Are Now.

The Hammonds released the podcast last month to delve into the intricacies of self-discovery and tackle contentious subjects facing people today - such as "toxic masculinity".

In the latest episode, May sat down with the father-and-daughter duo to try and dissect what a "modern man" was and whether or not the label was "in trouble".

The Grand Tour's Hammond kicked off the discussion as he put to May: "Speaking as somebody who as enjoyed a modicum of success... and who has worked in and around a subject that is associated with men: cars... is modern man in trouble? Have we had it?"

May began rather diplomatically at first as he said: "Probably not because the world rarely does go to the dogs."

Richard Hammond (left) and James May (right)

Richard Hammond (left) and James May (right) spoke on the former's new podcast


However, he did have his fears: "But I do feel like men are getting a bit of a bad wrap recently. There's a lot of talk about toxic masculinity and I know there is a lot of it around and it's right that we confront it and address it... but it's not all of us.

"We seem to be straying close to a point where simply being a bloke, especially if you're a sort of older, lower middle-class, white bloke... you're almost immediately written off."

Hammond then cut in to quiz his friend: "Are you written off or are you guilty of something?"

"Well, I don't feel guilty and I do examine myself and I don't think..." May replied before Hammond interjected: "I also know you well enough to know that if you were guilty, you'd hold your hands up and say I'll accept that."

May agreed: "I hope I would, yes. But I don't think I've been particularly toxic, have I?"

Hammond's daughter then shared her opinion on her dad's co-star: "I don't think you are, James. I don't think you're a toxic person."

She went on: "There's a sense of accountability that's needed for the ones that are toxic, that have said things (and) have acted in a way that is wrong.

"I think the problem is - there was a statistic that went around a couple of years ago that like 97 percent of women had been stared at, cat-called, anything like that.

James May

James May says 'middle-aged white blokes' are almost 'immediately written off' in today's landscape


"And the problem is - obviously it's not all men, we get that - but the problem is that there will be people you know who have done that and no one's picking up on it.

"Men just kind of let other men get away with it because it's uncomfortable to say to a mate, 'I don't like those opinions... that's inappropriate'."

As May took on board the 23-year-old's remarks, he replied: "So we are the old expression, 'Evil happens when good men say nothing'. We're guilty of that."

Despite the concerns over being "written off" simply for being a middle-aged white man, he did mention later in the podcast that he finds being a man easier nowadays because he "doesn't care anymore".

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