For the record: God sketch ‘did not comply with RTÉ standards’ and will be removed from Player

A sketch about God on the RTÉ New Year’s Eve Countdown Show, intended as satire, did not comply with RTÉ’s own standards and broader regulations, the organisation said today.

In a statement, RTÉ said its Editorial Standards Board found that the sketch did not comply with several provisions.

These included Section 39 (1) (d) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 and the BAI Code of Programme Standards in relation to material that causes “undue offence”.

It also did not comply with provision of Principle 5 in the above Code (Respect for Persons and Groups in Society) regarding “due respect” for religious beliefs.

The RTÉ Editorial Standards Board also found the sketch was not in compliance with the provision in the RTÉ Journalism & Content Guidelines regarding sensitivity to people’s religious beliefs.

After consideration of the RTÉ Editorial Standards Board’s findings, RTÉ decided it will make a voluntary disclosure of non-compliance to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and engage with the authority in this process.

It will also request the Editorial Standards Board to review the processes involved in the broadcast and report on it.

RTÉ has removed this sketch from the RTÉ Player.

The organisation said it will also carry a public statement and apology, with due prominence, acknowledging that the sketch did not meet the standards expected of the national broadcaster.

In a statement, RTÉ said it was its view that satire “is an important part of the offering to our audience”.

It added: “However, satire, no more than any other aspect of our output, must adhere to our own standards and the standards set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009 and the BAI Codes.”

RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes said: “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.

“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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  1. Eddie+Finnegan says:

    When you stop believing in something, you’ll believe in anything and couch your new Credo of compliance in the most incredible mumbo-jumbo of hocus-pocus, gibberish and gobbledygook.

  2. Sean+O’Conaill says:

    So, having all been aroused to the defence of the Creed by RTE’s non-compliance with its own standards of sensitivity to our religious beliefs, how are we to conduct ourselves if we can now no longer rely on RTE to wake us up?

    Remind ourselves that it was NOT the Constantinian Empire that gave us the Creed but the Gospels, and that the Nicene Creed was but a ‘tweaking’ of the ‘Apostles’ Creed that saw off that Ancient world of rapist Gods – Zeus, Poseidon, Jupiter get al? And that the Creed was a hero-story of love overcoming all forcing of anyone, before it became grist to the mill of an overbearing, forcing Holy Office and CDF, and then a wake-up call from RTE?

    All of this becomes clear from Luke Timothy Johnson’s ‘The Creed: What Christians believe and why it matters’ – the need to situate ourselves in the pre-Christendom world if we are to grapple with post-Christendom’s potential for oppressing us – and everyone else – all over again.

    Nothing could be more needed than the Creed by younger generations trapped in the ‘social media’ obsession with being ‘liked’. If everyone must become a celebrity to be liked by as many as possible, what a hideous Trumpian dystopia awaits – with everyone shouting ‘don’t you know who I am?’ at everyone else.

    We are all, ALL, already known, and loved. Is that not the Gospel?

  3. Joe+O'Leary says:

    That splashing sound is the baby being thrown out with the bathwater, and it is heard on every side.

    The Nicene Creed is golden, the very backbone of our religion, and one keeps coming back to it after every excursus into criticism, demythologization, and modernization.

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