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27th Feb 2024

Total number of RTÉ complaints for Kneecap Late Late appearance tells you a lot about Ireland

Simon Kelly

Kneecap rte complaints

The broadcaster has come under fire for its “impartiality rules”.

From pissing off UK tabloids, to rave reviews for their feature film at Sundance, Kneecap have been making headlines for all the right reasons lately.

The Belfast rap group have been making waves wherever they go, and their appearance on last week’s Late Late was no different, as they flouted RTÉ’s rules and showed support for Palestine on air.

However, with an interview as seemingly “controversial” as their chat with Patrick Kielty on Friday, the usually trigger-happy Late Late viewers were not rifling in complaints, which is a true sign of Ireland’s current mood towards the broadcaster.

Total number of RTÉ complaints for Kneecap Late Late appearance tells you a lot about modern-day Ireland

RTÉ released figures for the latest episode of the Late Late Show, which despite a substantial drop off in viewership from the previous week (a drop of 20,000), had only two formal complaints written about Kneecap’s appearance.

The appearance in question saw the controversial group ignore the broadcaster’s rules of political impartiality and don pro-Palestine badges and jerseys to highlight the ongoing atrocities in Gaza.

And, in light of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland wearing an Israeli badge during a recent interview on RTÉ without much fuss from the broadcaster, it looks like Irish viewers are beginning to take a stand against what some are labelling “double standards”.

It’s not the first time this issue has come up either – just a week before Kneecap made their appearance, the Irish Women in Harmony group were asked to remove any symbols supporting Palestine ahead of their performance on the Late Late.

In response, Joe Brolly tweeted: “RTE has no problem platforming Israel’s team of genocide apologists from Dana Erlich to Eylon Levy, but when ‘Irish women in harmony’ wore t-shirts with Gaza and watermelon solidarity badges they were asked to take them off.”

With RTÉ’s current ongoing crisis in full flow, maybe listening to the attitudes of the Irish public should jump forward to the top of its to-do list.

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