RTÉ has received over 600 complaints in relation to controversial columnist Katie Hopkins’ planned appearance on the Late Late Show tomorrow night, writes Joe Leogue.
Earlier this week, Ms Hopkins revealed that she had "booked her flight" to be on the Late Late Show, an announcement that sparked a social media campaign urging viewers to submit complaints to RTÉ.
Those opposed to Ms Hopkins’ appearance on the programme cited her views on refugees, minorities, and other issues as reason why the broadcaster should not afford her a platform.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, a spokesperson for RTÉ today revealed that the broadcaster had received 641 emails critical of Katie Hopkins' planned appearance on the Late Late Show.
“Donald Trump's victory has been one of the biggest political upsets of our time,” RTÉ said in a statement.
“Donald Trump himself expressed many controversial views during the campaign and is now President Elect.
“Katie Hopkins is one of his most vocal supporters in the UK. She'll be giving her take on why his message resonated with American voters, and her promise to move to America in the event of a Trump victory.
“The American election and its aftermath has been and will continue to be covered extensively across of range of RTÉ's output.”
Advance publicity for tonight’s programme described Ms Hopkins as a “Trump cheerleader”.
“Still celebrating the election of Donald Trump, controversial newspaper columnist and broadcaster Katie Hopkins joins Ryan to talk about her promise to move to America in the event of a Trump victory as well as her gloating claim that 'Trump has crushed the leftie luvvies',” the RTÉ press release announced.
Previous Late Late Show guests were among those who questioned Hopkins’ planned appearance on the programme.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson, broadcaster Maia Dunphy and musicians James Vincent McMorrow and Josh McClory all took to Twitter to voice their concerns.
“Never watch @RTELateLateShow as a matter of taste. Now I'll avoid as a matter of principle. Professional bigot Katie Hopkins is on,” Mr Abrahamson said.
“Very disappointed to hear the #LateLateShow is giving shit-stirring dullard Katie Hopkins a platform for her frankly tiresome bigotry,” Ms Dunphy tweeted.
Mr McMorrow said he hoped Ms Hopkins would be asked tough questions rather than treating her like “a whimsical character”.
“Katie Hopkins shouldn't be given any air time whatsoever, can't understand the @RTELateLateShow at all,” Mr McClory, guitarist with The Strypes, said.