Graham Norton Calls RTÉ Payout "Moronic"

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Irish chat show host, Graham Norton has slammed RTÉ for paying compensation to members of the Iona Institute after Rory O’Neill suggested they were homophobic on The Saturday Night Show.


In an interview with Hot Press this month, Norton commended Rory O’Neill’s now famous speech at The Abbey Theatre, in which he spoke of his experience with homophobia in Ireland.

He told the Irish music magazine, “It’s a very sane speech, which exists outside of the current argument. You don’t need to know about all the RTÉ toings and froings to understand it. Rory’s a smart chap, and it was perfectly pitched.”

The iconic BBC host also challenged those were opposed the introduction of civil marriage for same-sex couples in Ireland. He said, “I want to ask these people, why are you so scared and intimidated by the idea of gay marriage? There’s nothing positive in their life; what drives them is fear.

“They love using language – they’re ‘pro-this’ but actually they’re just against stuff. It’s a really horrible, sucking the joy out of life attitude, so you feel sorry for them”.

Speaking of RTÉ’s €85,000 payout to journalists John Waters and Breda O’Brien among others, he commented, “I’m not registered to vote in Ireland, but I do pay the licence fee. RTÉ settling wasn’t gutless, it was absolutely moronic”.

On several occasions, Graham Norton has talked about his struggles growing up gay in his hometown in Bandon, Co Cork, but admitted that attitudes have progressed in recent years.

“It’s such a different place. It takes pride in accepting all types of people. There’s more than 40 shades of green,” he said.


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