Last week, Focus: The Identity Trust reported on a new TV programme called ‘The Centre’, a 25 minute vehicle by RTÉ mocking a number of minority groups; of which one is transgender individuals.
(Pictured right, Noel Curran the Director General of RTÉ, and Gary Cooke as ‘Nuala’)
We wrote particularly on the treatment meted out by the programme to the character ‘Nuala’, a transgender woman who is portrayed in a negative and discriminatory fashion throughout, whose gender identity is constantly referenced and mocked, and whom RTÉ chose to portray via a badly-dressed man in drag, essentially casting a ‘transvestite’ in an offensive and totally unrepresentative portrayal of a transgender woman. We also highlighted the dangers of this type of portrayal of a transgender character to society in general, and particularly to transgender individuals.
Our demand to cancel the show
Focus wrote a complaint to RTÉ regarding the programme demanding it be cancelled, and as of 28th March, RTÉ had received 24 complaints. Our articles (click here and here to read) provided details of how to complain directly to RTÉ by post or by email. A petition site, Care2, has now launched a petition to remove this programme from our screens.
The petition will remain open for as long as RTÉ continue to show this programme.
You can also still complain direct to RTÉ in the following ways:
- Email the Complaints Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to the Complaints Manager via 2nd Floor Admin Building, RTÉ, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
It might be helpful to consider the obligations of RTÉ within the Broadcasting Act of 2009 whereby they are obliged to ensure that;
(c) anything which may reasonably be regarded as causing harm or offence, or as likely to promote, or incite to, crime or as tending to undermine the authority of the State, is not broadcast .
Section 3.4.2 of the BCI Code of Programme Standards states that “Programme material shall not support or condone discrimination against any person or section of the community, in particular on the basis of age, gender, marital status, membership of the Traveller community, family status, sexual orientation, disability, race or religion.”