Dublin, Ireland, Jan 11, 2021 / 10:54 am
After receiving thousands of complaints from citizens and vocal criticism from religious leaders, Ireland’s state broadcaster has apologized after a sketch on its New Year’s Eve programming joked about sexual assault, God, and the Virgin Mary.
“We accept the findings of the Editorial Standards Board that this sketch was not compliant with our own guidelines or with our obligations under the relevant codes,” RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes said Jan. 7. “On behalf of RTÉ, I fully apologize for that.”
The broadcaster’s internal review found that it had violated the Broadcasting Act 2009 and program standards that both bar material that causes “undue offense” and that require “due respect” for religious beliefs.
While satire is “an important part of the offering to our audience,” satire too must adhere to RTE standards and in governing legislation and codes of conduct, the broadcaster said.