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Transgender character, Nuala Mooney, played by Aprés Match’s Gary Cooke
Transgender character, Nuala Mooney, played by Aprés Match’s Gary Cooke
Image: Screengrab/RTÉ

Petition set up demanding RTÉ scrap 'The Centre' over portrayal of transgender character

The petition says the show encourages “abuse of transgender people”.
Apr 9th 2014, 8:46 PM 21,802 82

A PETITION HAS been set up to remove the RTÉ show ‘The Centre’.

It demands that RTÉ immediately scrap the show as it encourages “abuse of transgender people”.

The petition has been set up by Dee Vansont.

Vansont told TheJournal.ie: “Most trans people have to try to stay below the radar to avoid harassment and protect friends, family and children.

So we have a very vulnerable minority with very little representation or support in Ireland and then RTÉ decides to make a transgender character the butt of a stream of bullying and vicious put-downs.

“The petition will remain open as long as RTÉ broadcast this damaging portrayal of how to treat transgender people.”

TheJournal.ie contacted the state broadcaster about the petition. RTÉ responded by releasing a statement, saying:

The Centre is a comedy full of exaggerated characters. Nualla is a Transgendered character accepted unreservedly by her co-workers and those who use ‘The Centre’, and while comical, is actually a positive LGBT character.
 The attacks on Nualla come from one source – the repulsive Amanda Menton, who represents all that is wrong with society.In effect the exaggerated cartoon character of Amanda Menton is an equal opportunities offender – she insults ALL, she is sexist, ageist, fattest, elitist, bigoted etc. LGBT characters should not be treated differently.

This was the same statement released by RTE after the show received 24 complaints over the transgender character Nuala after the first show.

They added, “In terms of the petition, RTE welcomes feedback on our all programmes both positive and negative”.

Read: RTÉ receives 24 complaints over transgender character in new sitcom ‘The Centre’>

Read: We need to talk about Nuala … RTÉ’s portrayal of trans character is shallow and cruel>

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Cliodhna Russell

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