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Just leave comedy to the professionals, South Africa tells RTE in backlash over sketch on Your Bad Self

RTE has managed to insult an entire nation after South Africans took grave offence at a series of sketches on the new comedy show Your Bad Self.

The South African Embassy in Dublin said today that "RTE should leave comedy to the professionals" following the faux pas in which South African mothers are portrayed as women with loose morals.

In one sketch on Monday's opener, a supposedly South African mum held up T-shirt which she bought for her six-year-old with the word 'Whore' emblazened across it.

Disgusted

The woman in the sketch seemed disgusted as she retold how her "six-year-old" had tried to match a pair of thigh-high boots without fishnet stockings.

She then went on to hold up a number of pink tops, which had 'Shake Your Booty' and 'Whore'.

A spokeswoman for the South African embassy has since condemned the show as "simply poor" and a perfect example of why "comedy should be left to professionals".

"I'm the biggest fan of Irish comedy in the world -- I love Tommy Tiernan, Neil Delamare, you name them, I like them," she said. "But this show proves that comedy should be left to the professionals.

"I've been in Ireland short of two years now and I couldn't even identify that as a South African accent. It was a very poor performance," she told the Herald.

The programme, which airs on Monday nights on RTE Two, is described as "for the most part observational, non-political and sometimes slightly surreal.

"It has recurring characters, but it's not about catchphrases -- you're more likely to recognise the situation than the punch line."

The representative of the embassy went on to express her shock at the airing of such a programme, having previously thought very highly of Irish entertainment.

"In my time, RTE has produced some of the most brilliant programmes, their documentaries are some of the best in the world. Tommy Tiernan is a dangerous guy at the best of times, you never know what he will come out with. Mary Coughlan has to be one of the best singers I've ever heard. Ireland has produced some of the top leaders in every field.

"I can't even comment on the show being disrespectful because it's done so unprofessionally," she said.

"I can think of a lot of other (programmes) I would rather watch -- or even the snow for that matter."

Stereotype

She went on to say: "I can't even say that they endorsed a stereotype because that wasn't even the case."

Alongside Huberman is some of the freshest young Irish talent including Domhnall Gleeson -- son of Brendan, Father Ted's Tom Farrelly and Emily Fairman.

The programme is the brainchild of award-winning director John Butler, best known for his contribution to the IFTA nominated series Tommy Tiernan: Jokerman. And Ben Kelly, one of the show's writers has previously worked on hit reality shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, I'm a Celebrity... and Big Brother.

RTE declined to comment.

hnews@herald.ie


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