Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay uses “lesbian” as an insult

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is not known for being polite. In fact, if he does not say something rude or boorish within 10 minutes of appearing on air or in public, he probably has a bad case of laryngitis.

Usually, however, he needs to be provoked before he launches into his trademark expletive-ridden tirades, and I use the term “provoked” broadly. “Provoking” Gordon Ramsay includes horrifying transgressions such as appearing within his line of sight or breathing in his presence.

On Friday night, Ramsay was interviewed by Australian television personality Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair, where he commented on a mole on her lip, asking, “Is that a wart? It looks like your little sister’s on your lip.” This type of behavior is completely normal for Ramsay — and even expected — but his perplexing rant against Grimshaw on the following day was excessive, even for Ramsay.

Saturday, at the Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne, Ramsay launched into an offensive diatribe against Grimshaw, in which he called Grimshaw a lesbian and even showed a visual depiction of Grimshaw as a naked subservient female pig. Usually, the victim of his invectives is directly engaging with him at the time, so dragging out the verbal abuse a full day after an interview is simply bizarre.

Ramsay told an audience of several thousand people that Grimshaw was “a lesbian,” the Sunday Herald Sun reports:

When the crowd reacted with gasps, he said, “What? I’m not saying she’s a dyke,” using a slur for gay women.

Ramsay also showed a picture of a woman — who appeared to be naked — on her hands and knees with the features of a pig and multiple breasts.

“That’s Tracy Grimshaw,” he told the audience. “I had an interview with her yesterday. Holy crap. She needs to see Simon Cowell’s Botox doctor.”

Ramsay — who later dismissed the comments as a joke — went on with more innuendos about Grimshaw’s sexual preference and activities.

First, Ramsay calling anyone a pig is sadly ironic. Second, the sexism and homophobia in Ramsay’s little exercise is readily apparent to anyone with a functioning brain, so I will not belabor the point.

The CEO of Australia’s Channel Nine phoned Ramsay to tell him that his comments crossed the line, but of course, telling Ramsay to shut his mouth is like telling Rush Limbaugh that it’s time to retire already. We’re over it, but some people simply cannot bear to fade from the limelight.

Last night, Grimshaw responded herself:

Obvious Gordon thinks that any woman who doesn’t find him attractive must be gay. For the record, I don’t. And I’m not.

I was absolutely miserable when I found out late Saturday afternoon. He says it’s a joke. Well, not to me or anyone who cares about me.

Truly, I wonder how many people would laugh if they were effectively described as an old, ugly pig.

But we all know that bullies thrive when no-one takes them on, and I’m not going to sit meekly and let some arrogant narcissist bully me.

Was this stunt intended to keep him in the public view, did his bout of food poisoning push him over the edge, or is Ramsay just an incorrigible jerk?

June 10 Update: Ransay has issued an apology for his “off-the-cuff” remarks, calling them “inappropriate and offensive,” and Grimshaw has reportedly accepted his apology.