RTÉ releases statement in response to termination of Dublin Pride partnership

Dublin Pride decided to terminate their media partnership following transphobic discussions on Liveline.

The front door of RTÉ that just published a statement in response to Dublin Pride terminating their partnership.
Image: Via Twitter - @VisArtsIreland

Last night Dublin Pride announced that it was terminating its media partnership with RTÉ with immediate effect. The move was prompted by a series of transphobic discussions which were broadcast on RTÉ’s popular phone-in radio programme Liveline.

In their statement, Dublin Pride said they were “both angered and disappointed” by what they described as “the recent unacceptable, triggering and extremely harmful anti-trans ‘discussions’ that have been given a platform on Joe Duffy’s Liveline on RTÉ Radio 1.”

They concluded, “We expect a response on how they will make amends for this situation and are committed to continuing the fight for equality, fairness and respect for all members of our LGBTQ+ family.”

In a statement released this morning, RTÉ said it was “disappointed with the decision to end a partnership we had developed together with a range of bodies over the last three years.”

It continued “Standing with the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month sends an important signal that RTÉ is here to serve everyone, and over the last three years RTÉ has sought to include these communities and extend understanding through a range of specially produced content, campaigns and partnerships.”

Choosing not to directly address the content of the Liveline show and instead take a broader stance on the media outlet’s general content, the statement continued, “Public discussion – sometimes uncomfortable, difficult, and contentious – is central to RTÉ’s prescribed purpose.” 

It went on, “RTÉ is acutely aware that discussions on issues such as gender and identity are deeply personal to many. It is important we listen to them, their families and those close to them, and it is also important that we allow our audiences engage with and understand the issues involved.”

The debate has prompted other LGBTQ+ organisations and members of the community to come out in support of Dublin Pride’s decision, including calling for more accountability for how RTÉ is meeting its Public Sector Duty obligations. Meanwhile, it has been reported that senior RTÉ executives are to be called before the Oireachtas Media and Culture Committee to debate the Liveline coverage.

In the statement, RTÉ noted these obligations stating it will “respond to any formal complaints concerning the broadcasts.”

It concluded, “RTÉ will continue to stand with our LGBTQ+ staff and the wider community during Pride month and beyond. In time, we hope that we will once again get the opportunity to continue to develop our partnership with Dublin Pride.”

An Uplift campaign to submit a “message condemning toxic coverage of Trans issues” can be found here.
If you would like to issue a formal complaint, guidelines are set out here.

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