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RTÉ sticks with The 2 Johnnies despite outcry over sexist material

2FM says presenters merely breached social media guidelines in video that made crude references to female genitalia


Johnny McMahon and Johnny O’Brien are The 2 Johnnies

Johnny McMahon and Johnny O’Brien are The 2 Johnnies

Johnny McMahon and Johnny O’Brien are The 2 Johnnies

RTÉ is standing by their star signing radio presenters The 2 Johnnies, following an outcry over their sexist material.

The new RTÉ DJ’s were suspended after they were called out for offensive material in a video promoting their 2FM programme. 

Their Drive It show on 2FM only began last Monday and they were benched on Thursday, after just three programmes.

The future of the new show was in doubt as RTÉ reviewed the issue.

The video containing several crude references to female genitalia was deleted last week as it promoted their new 2FM programme. 

The comedy duo apologised for the “offensive” content, saying it should “never have been published”.

Among the car sticker slogans read out during the podcast were: “Workin’ the land and droppin’ the hand”; “Tyres are like women, no good unless they are squealing”, and “She’s not a princess, she’s a sl*t”. There were several other crude references, which Independent.ie has chosen not to publish.

Now RTÉ says the comedy duo merely breached social media guidelines and will return to the station in a fortnight.

In a statement, the national broadcaster said it had “engaged intensively” with The 2 Johnnies in respect of the “breaches of our social media guidelines”, the standards expected with RTÉ content and the challenges of moving from an unregulated space into one where regulations apply.

RTÉ made no reference to the sexist material in its statement. 

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Dan Healy, Head of RTÉ 2fm said: "We reviewed the content and found that our social media guidelines were breached.

"We took this very seriously. So seriously that The 2 Johnnies were taken off air.

“They have apologised and we've been talking since about where we go from here. They are aware of the standards we expect and are absolutely committed to upholding them.

"We are looking forward to working with The 2 Johnnies as we work together to bring a fresh approach to drivetime.

"That's the job they were taken on to do and the show we want to offer the audience. We're going to continue working on this in advance of the show returning to air on Monday 14 March.”

The 2 Johnnies, John O’Brien and John McMahon, said, "On the back of what was a very intense week, and having issued an apology and clarification of the events which occurred, we are extremely excited about returning to our daily drivetime show.

"We had a great welcome at 2FM last week and are eager to work with Dan and the 2FM family again, acknowledging the lessons we’ve learned and committing to put these into action.

"Coming from a different environment it is a privilege to get the chance to have a national conversation five days a week, and we appreciate that with this comes great responsibility and a lot is now expected of us.”

The duo said another staff member put the video together and say they didn’t see it before it was published.

The presenters said their intention was to condemn the slogans but said they were not “clear enough in our condemnation of them”.

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