RTE sort-of apologises for God rape ‘joke’ – Kealy says material must be removed

The taxpayer funded state broadcaster RTÉ has apologised after receiving 600 complaints over a supposedly humourous sketch that was aired during its New Year’s Eve countdown show.  

There was an outpouring of criticism of the clip and Archbishop Eamon Martin called for it to be removed from the station’s player because it accused God of rape in relation to Christ’s conception.

The clip, read by former RTÉ newscaster Aengus MacGrianna, said : “In yet another shocking revelation this year God became the latest figure to be implicated in ongoing sexual harassment scandals. The five billion year old stood accused of forcing himself on a young Middle-Eastern migrant and allegedly impregnating her against her will before being sentenced to two years in prison with the last 24 months suspended.”

Archbishop Martin said he was “shocked that producer/editor of ‘NYE Countdown Show'” did not “realise how deeply offensive was a mocking ‘news report’ accusing God of rape & reporting his imprisonment. This outrageous clip should be removed immediately & denounced by all people of goodwill.”

There was an outpouring of support for his stance.

 

A petiton launched by Aontú’s Becky Kealy reached almost 3,000 signatures within hours of posting.

Many commentators also noted that the clip, like most comedy on RTE, was “desperately unfunny”.

Today RTÉ said it “recognises that matters which can cause offence naturally differ from person to person, within comedy and satire in particular.  Having reviewed the feedback and complaints received up to this point, RTÉ wishes to apologise to those who were offended by the segment.”

600 complaints were received by the station over the clip. As more than one person said, it wasn’t much of an apology.

 

Some commentators called for RTE to be defunded.

 

Aontú spokesperson, Becky Kealy called on RTÉ to remove what she described as the “grossly offensive” content from the RTE Player. She stated; “apologising for material while still making it available online, feels like an empty gesture from senior management in RTE”.

“We welcome that RTE has apologised for the grossly offensive ‘NYE Countdown Show’ broadcast on the night of New Year’s Eve. In an effort at cheap laughs the programme delivered a sketch in which God was accused of raping a migrant girl, Mary. The sketch was completely offensive to millions of practicing Christians in Ireland. It is inaccurate according to any book of faith. It makes little of sexual crime at a time when it is a real, serious and prevalent issue for so many”.

“Its hard to believe that RTE would deliver such an offensive sketch targeted at any other religion. Imagine the outrage that would emerge if RTE broadcast a sketch caricaturing Allah, Krishna or the Dali Lama as a rapist. At a time when Christians are being targeted, attacked and killed all over the world, this is not acceptable”.

“Ireland is a pluralist republic. That diversity is part of the richness of Ireland. All our citizens to be allowed to be who they are to the full extent without having to hide. Yet this casual discrimination and continuous ridicule against many who hold the Christian faith dear is creating a chilling effect pushing religious expression into the closet. This is wrong and RTE should remove the material,” she said.

 

 

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