Tuesday 24 October 2017

BAI clears radio show after gay people were branded 'sexual deviants'

Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

A complaint about a radio show involving a caller who branded gay people "sexual deviants" has been rejected by the watchdog.

A listener to the 'Niall Boylan at Night' Classic Hits 4FM programme wrote to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to complain that the station had "failed in its duty of care and allowed incitement to occur" after a discussion was held on air about a gay man working in a crèche.

One listener wrote to the show to voice his objections to a gay man being employed at their child's crèche and this was read out on air.

Subsequently, another listener called the show in response to this and he described gay people on air as "sexual deviants", according to the BAI complaint.

The complainant also said the caller stated that "gay" and "paedophile" were interchangeable terms.

The station rejected the complaint that it had incited hatred and said callers should expect "controversial and extreme opinions" as it has been on air for four years.


Classic Hits 4FM also said Niall Boylan and his team believed that "brushing these people's views under the rug serves no purpose to anyone".

The station also wrote in its response to the broadcasting watchdog that the host of the show took care to ensure that the caller's "extreme comments did not go unchallenged".

Meanwhile, a number of the other complaints made were in relation to the same-sex marriage debate and child and family issues.

Eleven complaints were lodged by Donal O'Sullivan-Latchford on behalf of the Family and Media Association.

He took issue with a number of radio and television broadcasts on RTÉ and Newstalk.

His complaints related to discussions about the same-sex marriage referendum and religious issues.

However, none of these complaints were upheld by the BAI.

Separately, one complaint was upheld against 'The Opinion Line' on Cork's 96Fm by a couple who were named on air as objectors to a planning development.

Irish Independent

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