Stickybottle

RTE reply to Late Late Show complaints on item about cyclists

Posted on: March 15th, 2018

response Late Late Show cyclist complaints

Here’s one of the replies RTE sent out in response to complaints about the cyclist item on The Late Late show. It has generated 500 complaints. XX

 

RTE’s response to Late Late Show cyclist item complaints

 

Yesterday it emerged that over 500 complaints had been sent to RTE about an item on arrogant cyclists on The Late Late Show.

RTE presenter Maura Derrane, social media personality James Kavanagh and author Eoin Colfer were part of a panel on the show in January. They were asked to select items or issues them wanted to “throw in the bin for 2018”.

Derrane said she was particularly annoyed when cyclists blocked cars by the way they were riding on country roads.

“Really there’s no need because; are you in competition with a car? You’re never going to be faster. And (cyclists do it) almost to piss people off; I know that.”

Kavanagh then took it up: “They’re like the farm animals,” he said cyclists riding several abreast.

“Sheep or cows or whatever; they don’t move. Cyclists are like that as well.”

Cycling Ireland and the Dublin Cycling Campaign said the item incited hatred of cyclists. But RTE has not apologised, despite the large volume of complaints.

And in its reply to some of the complaints, one of which has been supplied to stickybottle by a reader, the show’s series producer Katherine Drohan says the item was clearly lighthearted, adding it did not criticise cyclists.

Instead, some of the item focused on “arrogant cyclists”. The reply, to one of our readers who complained to RTE, was as follows:

Thank you for your email in relation to the Late Late Show of 12th January 2018, which has been passed to me for reply. 

The item to which you refer took place in part three of the show and was a comedic and light hearted look at things the panelists wanted to “bin” for the New Year.

Items to be binned included Ryan Tubridy’s enthusiasm for children and toys on the Toy Show as well as raisins, which the panelist described as “devil’s droppings”.

It was in this context that one of the panelists, Maura Derrane, wished to put “arrogant cyclists” in the bin.

Her primary concern as she said was: “I like cycling but there is one thing that really bothers me – three or four cyclists abreast on a country road”. 

To be clear, Ms Derrane several times reiterated (and I quote): “Not cyclists, I like cyclists, don’t get me wrong. It’s arrogant cyclists.” 

At no point did Ms Derrane or any of the other contributors condemn all cyclists or urge the “binning” of cycling itself.

The item was not a serious discussion on road use or traffic safety. Nor was it in any way meant to reflect a position by RTÉ, Ms Derrane or The Late Late Show on the issue of general cycling safety. 

As you are aware, the Late Late Show has a range of topics, discussions, guests and items on every week; from the very serious to the comedic. 

And the panel discussion to which you refer was aimed firmly in the light entertainment category. In this case, we obviously failed to entertain you, and for that I apologise. 

But it certainly was not our intention to offend or demonise all cyclists, but rather to put a range of provocative and entertaining topics to the panel for them to discuss. 

RTÉ has a long history of working closely with the Road Safety Authority and other bodies to improve road safety for all users and takes its public service responsibilities in this regard very seriously.

The item in question on the Late Late Show was not of that type. 

Thank you for watching and for taking the time to write to us with your views. They are appreciated and valued. 

If any member of the public is of the opinion that a programme or segment of a programme broadcast on RTÉ has breached a provision of Section 39(1)(a), (b), (d) or (e) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 or failed to comply with a provision of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Codes and is not satisfied with RTÉ’s response they are entitled to make a complaint to the BAI. Information on codes and on the complaints procedure can be found on the BAI website at http://www.bai.ie/en/viewers-listeners/complaints/

 

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