|The ‘transgender’ character, played by a man in a dress, is the brunt of transphobic jokes
written to have the audience laugh at him according to those who have seen the
premiere. RTE inexplicably defends this saying his part is a positive role model.
Panned by numerous critics the new sitcom’s “transgender” character Nuala Mooney played by cisgender male actor Gary Cooke has invoked a twitter outrage and the Irish advocacy group Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) up in arms. The show which just aired has already accumulated 24 complaints which in Ireland are not taken lightly.
From the TENI Webpage:
Over the course of the 25 minute show, Nuala’s gender identity is referenced and mocked on every occasion she appears on screen.
“The Centre is a throwback to the dark ages of television and RTÉ should do better. Nuala is the stock character of a ‘man in a dress’ played for cheap laughs. Her appearance and identity are fair game to the other characters on the show and their comments and quips re-enforce every stereotype that exists for trans people in this country,” said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone.”Not only is she is referred to as ‘king kong in a thong’ but there are references made to her surgical status, her hormone levels, body hair and adam’s apple. At no point is the audience laughing with Nuala, they are laughing at her.”
Research shows that trans people have some of the highest rates of attempted suicide in this country with 30% having tried to take their own life at least once. In the same survey, 40% of participants reported that media representation of trans people negatively affected their emotional wellbeing or mental health.
“The Centre masquerades as edgy by poking fun at minority groups. Unfortunately, we see the very real effects of how this type of ‘humour’ contributes to the marginalisation of the trans community. There is no doubt that negative media representation contributes to pervasive transphobia. This has a direct and detrimental effect on trans people’s sense of self-esteem and contributes to their fear of coming out.”
The Centre can be seen on RTÉ player: http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10266262/
TENI encourages people to make complaints directly to RTÉ.
RTÉ is obliged under Section 39 (1) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 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.”
The complaint should be sent to RTÉ’s complaints office:
by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am unable to access the link to the offensive episode the web page responding with numerous excuses. Hopefully this show has been removed by RTE voluntarily without the government forcing them to.
This episode was found on RTE’s youtube account. Its really awful.
|“The ape in a thong”|