Toy Show’s Lara targeted by online racists

A six-year-old girl who featured on The Late Late Toy Show has been the target of online abuse following her appearance.

Toy Show’s Lara targeted by online racists

Lara Reddy, from Swords, Co Dublin, appeared on television’s most-watched programme to demonstrate a number of toys, including some from the My Little Pony range.

Lara opened her segment with presenter Ryan Tubridy singing a playground version of the My Little Pony theme tune.

“My Little Pony, skinny and bony, went to the stable, to die on the table,” she sang.

However, while Mark Reddy posted on Twitter that he was the “proudest dad in the world” and praised the “outstanding, kind and lovely” RTÉ staff, he also revealed that his daughter had been subjected to racist and abusive comments.

“Lara, loved it. Thank you all,” Mr Reddy tweeted to the RTÉ account.

“We received loads of lovely posts and shockingly racist and abusive posts, amazing!” he said.

Mr Reddy shared a screenshot of one racist tweet he saw on the night.

“Ling ling’s gonna put that pony into a 3 in 1 with satay #LateLateToyShow” one Twitter user posted on the social media site.

Mr Reddy also revealed that he witnessed more abuse on Facebook.

“Twitter is much nicer than Facebook, less racism and abuse (no lie),” he tweeted on the night.

He has since revealed he read messages that suggest his daughter’s poem was making light of animal welfare issues.

“Try and raise your daughter to have respect for animals and treat them the way they deserve to be treated,” one message read.

Mr Reddy dismissed such criticism as an over-reaction to a child’s joke.

“My Little Pony is a cartoon, there was no correlation between real ponies and the song which is sung in all school yards by My Little Pony fans,” he said.

“The abuse stemmed from outright hate and racism, paedophilia, and then general negative comments made against a six-year-old following a three-minute rehearsed segment in a live show.

“As parents, we are responsible for making the world a better place for our children. We model good behaviour and openness, we accept difference of beliefs and opinion, and we don’t mind if these opinions don’t match our own, but to take time out to publicly bash a six-year-old is shocking, dangerous, and very worrying — and so needs addressing and challenging.”

The Late Late Toy Show was the most-watched programme on television so far this year, with an average of 1.36m viewers tuning in to watch the entire programme.

There were more than 91,000 tweets sent on the night using the hashtag #LateLateToyShow, and the volume of tweets being sent peaked at 620 per minute, RTÉ said.

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