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RTÉ to remove 'God is rapist' skit from Player and will review how it made it to air

RTÉ has said the sketch did not meet its broadcast standards.

The RTÉ Montrose campus in Donnybrook.
The RTÉ Montrose campus in Donnybrook.
Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

RTÉ HAS APOLOGISED and will make a disclosure to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) after finding that its comedy sketch depicting God as a rapist breached broadcast standards. 

The RTÉ Editorial Standards Board found the sketch breached both its own and BAI’s standards under rules against causing “undue offence” and having “due respect” for religious beliefs. 

The broadcaster said the sketch was satirical in nature and that satire is “an important part of the offering” but must nonetheless comply with the code. 

The sketch, which was presented by newsreader Aenghus Mac Grianna, prompted a slew of complaints and a previous apology from RTÉ.

Mac Grianna plays the role of a newsreader in the Waterford Whispers skit, describing God as being “the latest figure to be implicated in ongoing sexual harassment scandals”.

“The five-billion-year-old stood accused of forcing himself on a young middle-eastern migrant and allegedly impregnating her against her will before being sentenced to two years in prison, with the last 24 months suspended,” he said in the parody report.

The controversial clip shows an aged man in a white robe being led away from a courthouse by gardaí.

RTÉ has said this afternoon that it will remove the sketch from the RTÉ Player and will also carry a public statement and apology acknowledging that its broadcast did not meet standards. 

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RTÉ will also request that a further review be carried out into how the sketch made it to air. 

“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 today. 

“On behalf of RTÉ, I fully apologise for that. We will now review the processes involved and engage constructively with the BAI.”

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Rónán Duffy

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