Complaints about anti-cyclist 'hate-speech' on Late Late Show rejected

The country’s broadcasting watchdog has rejected seven complaints from viewers about a “light-hearted” segment on The Late Late Show that referred to cyclists.

The compliance committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) rejected the seven complaints, relating to the January 12 show, in which three panellists were invited to state what things they would “bin” for the new year.

One of the panellists, Today show presenter Maura Derrane, nominated cyclists and referred to “three or four cyclists abreast on a country road”.

Complainants said the way cyclists were discussed was offensive and harmful to efforts to have a mature and constructive debate on cycling.

One complainant argued that the presenter, Ryan Tubridy, had “encouraged and magnified this ‘hate-speech’.”

RTE said it was “a comedic and light-hearted segment”, that it was not a serious discussion on road safety, and that “the main editorial goal was to amuse the audience”. 

The RTÉ response to the BAI did acknowledge an error in referring to cyclists two abreast and said that this practice is not illegal.

The BAI committee unanimously rejected all seven complaints, noting that “the tone of the segment was humorous and light-hearted, with a focus on cyclists who demonstrate particular behaviours”.

No complaint made in the latest report was upheld. 

One complaint rejected by the BAI’s Executive Complaints Forum concerned an Apres Match of the Day sketch from last November, which involved the visit of Pope John Paul II to Galway, in 1979.

A complainant argued that it “profaned the sacredness of mass and the Eucharist”, but RTÉ said the programme was a satirical look at life in the 1970s.


Lifestyle

Like it or not, video meetings are here to stay. Home editor Eve Kelliher gets an expert's secrets to preparing interiors for their close-up.How to ensure your home is always camera-ready in the Zoom era

Tougher plants, smaller plots and more communal spaces will grow in popularity, says Hannah Stephenson.What will gardens of the future look like?

Ciara McDonnell chats with four women who’ve decided to embrace their natural hair colour after time away from the salonBack to my roots: Four women who've decided to embrace their natural hair colour

Allowing your children to lead the way is the key to fun outdoor play, and there are many things you can build or buy to help them along, says Kya deLongchampsGarden adventures: Allowing your children to lead the way is the key to fun outdoor play

More From The Irish Examiner