Ryan Tubridy responds to online backlash to Greta Thunberg comments 4 months ago

Ryan Tubridy responds to online backlash to Greta Thunberg comments

The broadcaster faced criticism for remarks made on his radio show.

Ryan Tubridy has responded to online criticism of his comments about climate activist Greta Thunberg on his radio show on Tuesday morning.

Speaking on his RTÉ Radio One show after Thunberg had addressed world leaders at a climate conference in New York on Monday, the Late Late Show presenter suggested that the 16-year-old was too young to be subjected to the global spotlight.

"It's one thing campaigning, it's another thing causing anxiety to a generation," Tubridy said on Tuesday.

"It's not good for her mental health or her wellbeing. Her face contorted in pain, in agony and in anxiety. I was watching her and not thinking about the climate. I was thinking about my daughter and what would I do if I saw my 16-year-old's face contorted, talking about her childhood and life being robbed of her in that audience."

"It just got to a tipping point last night where I just feel she needs to be brought home and watch a movie," he added.

"Just go for a walk with your da or your ma. She has Asperger's and she’s now up for grabs. A 16-year-old shouldn’t be up for grabs."

Tubridy faced criticism online for his comments on Tuesday; and speaking on RTÉ Radio 1 on Wednesday morning, he said the following in response:

"There might have been confusion that there was a pairing of her Asperger's Syndrome with a mental illness. That's not what was meant to happen. That's not what was intended at all. We spoke to Denise yesterday - she's the mother of a son with Asperger's - and she spoke to us and helped to explain its nuances to us and she hadn't any concerns about what was said before.

"What I was saying - with regards to Greta - and this isn't a defence, or an apology, it's simply a clarification to say that what is said came from the heart. It's just genuine concern for a young person that's on an amplified stage. I'm 46-years-old and apparently, I was shredded yesterday online. That's fine because I'm not on it (online). I didn't see it, but it's not nice when someone says to you 'they're doing some desperate things to you.'

"I'm 46. I'm fine, I can take this. I'm a public figure and in the public eye, I understand. My concern yesterday was for a young person and for her health and wellbeing. That's all. I've been a massive supporter of the climate marches. I've repeatedly told you how much I admire the young people, their movement, and engagement with politics and public affairs - which is rare, welcome, and important. Back to history, back to politics, back to engagement. I love it.

"At the most local level, I've been boasting like a fool about my brown bin under the sink, my keep cup, and paper straw. I get this. Let there be no doubt, I get this. I get the young people who do this. I've great time for young people. Never underestimate my love and appreciation for the next generation. Please don't. "

You can listen Tubridy's response in full below.