RTÉ face calls to apologise for birthing robot segment on The Late Late Show
It was an undeniably weird moment.
RTÉ are facing calls to apologise for a segment on last Friday's Late Late Show in which birth was simulated by an automated dummy woman.
A statement from the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services Ireland (AIMS) have a issued a strongly worded statement criticising the segment.
"There are so many things wrong here it’s hard to know where to begin," the statement reads, before going on to compare the moment to a Monty Python sketch.
"Airing a piece like this without ANY regard to how this might affect women and their families who have had diffucult maternity experiences demonstrates a complete willful disregard for women in the most vulnerable of circumstances.
"It was an appalling error of judgement on the part of the editorial team and AIMS Ireland demand an apology and recognition of the re-traumatisation this piece may have caused for so many families."
The robot in question is currently being used to teach medical students about the process of having a baby in the RCSI. Master of the Rotunda Hospital Professor Fergal Malone was joined by a doctor and a medical student for the segment, which drew a huge reaction on social media.
AIMS Ireland further noted: "Airing this vignette on national TV on one of the most watched shows on public broadcasting TV does the public a disservice. It reinforces stereotypical imagery that birthing people should lie on their backs (something research has told us is not good for mother or baby) and should be coached into holding their breath and forced pushing (again something research has told us is not the best option for mother or baby)." The statement can be read in full here.
RTÉ have confirmed that 31 complaints have been received with regards the segments.