Independent TD for Tipperary, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath has this weekend slammed the national broadcaster RTÉ for its completely inappropriate content on the stations New Year’s Eve countdown show where God was depicted as “raping Middle Eastern Migrants”.
Speaking from his Tipperary constituency today (Sunday 3rd January 2021), Deputy Mc Grath said:
“The airing of this particular segment within the prime New Year’s Eve broadcast was callous, deeply offensive and insulting to people of faith and to rape victims. RTÉ have crossed the line with this latest attack which has caused hurt and insult to tens of thousands of Irish people.”
“RTÉ is in receipt of exclusive state funding each year through the television licence fee. In 2018 this figure was €189 million, and the amount will be over €200 million this year. Given the extraordinary distasteful nature of this broadcast, coupled with the stations flippant apology which illustrated no acknowledgement of error or any commitment to avoid this from happening again, I believe it is now time to scrutinise the allocation of this funding and decide whether RTÉ should have an ongoing unquestionable right to be the only recipient.”
“Ireland has many other excellent and responsible broadcasting providers at both local and national level. Many of these providers provide responsible and cutting-edge entertainment and current affairs. Thus, I believe it is now time to share out this funding on a more equitable basis.”
“Any special treatment afforded to RTÉ must cease and the public interest must be protected in doing so. It is no longer tenable to protect RTÉ as some sort of sacred cow, simply because they offer special coverage for the government of the day.”
“Personally, I have received hundreds of complaint calls from constituents and individuals nationwide concerning this show. Perhaps what worsens this matter still is how it negatively impacted elderly people who were sitting at home on New Year’s Eve, spectating what RTE had produced. These same viewers have been unable to attend Mass for much of the year, something which is personally meaningful to them. Meanwhile, our national/state-funded broadcaster denigrates and behaves in an impertinent manner.”
“Therefore, today I am calling for the following:
For RTÉ to remove this highly offensive material from RTÉ Player;
For the Minister for Communications to immediately begin a complete review into the manner in which the broadcasting fee is allocated;
That this review would be time-bound and completed by the end of March 2021;
That Dáil Eireann would be presented with a copy of the review and afforded an opportunity to debate its contents.”
“In the meantime, I have also made a formal complaint, to the broadcasting authority of Ireland (BAI) about the matter,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.
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