Thursday 19 July 2018

BAI rejects complaints about Rubberbandits' Blindboy Boatclub calling Holy Communion 'haunted bread' on the Late Late Show

Blindboy Boatclub on The Late Late Show
Blindboy Boatclub on The Late Late Show
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has rejected 11 complaints regarding comments about Holy Communion made by Rubberbandits' Blindboy Boatclub.

The BAI has published its most recent decisions, all 11 of which related to Blindboy's appearance on the Late Late Show broadcast on RTE One on January 6 this year.

The complaints referred to the segment of the show in which Holy Communion was referred to by one panelist as "haunted bread" while another said it was like eating bits of body and akin to cannibalism.

The woman said the references were hurtful and offensive and mocked her religion. She also pointed out that the programme was broadcast on January 6 or Little Christmas which is a holy day in the Catholic calendar.

Another complainant claimed that the comments "crossed a line into, not merely, gratuitous offence, but sheer nastiness, hatred and contempt for the Roman Catholic faith and for those who sincerely profess it."

Another complainant said the comments "caused great offence" to him while a fourth said that Blindboy made what she considers to be a "disgraceful comment based on his erroneous and insulting understanding of The Eucharist" and of what she considers the "presenter's shameful endorsement of the comedian's description of Holy Communion as a 'great description'."

In responding to the first complaint, RTE stated that the phrase "haunted bread" was "provocative" but that it was designed "as the comedy of The Rubberbandits generally is, to provoke thought and not to be pointlessly offensive."

RTE stated that this fact is underlined by Blindboy Boatclub's apology to panelist Mr Michael Harding for any offence caused by the "haunted bread" comment when he found out that Mr Harding was a former priest.

The BAI rejected the complaint but stated that it did "not agree with the contention by the broadcaster that this panelist was speaking for his generation, the Committee considered it legitimate for a panelist to articulate their own personal views."

The Rubberbandits responded to the news on Twitter:

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