BBC's Newsnight accused of 'racism' over Irish bail-out bulletin
The BBC’s Newsnight programme has been accused of "racist" stereotyping over a bulletin about Britain’s role in the international bail-out for Ireland.
Viewers complained that scenes depicting a cut-out of British Chancellor George Osborne dancing across sepia images of the Irish countryside were offensive.
Comments by Mr Osborne about supporting the country through its financial crisis also flashed on the screen in a Celtic font to the sound of traditional Irish music.
The report, aired on Thursday night – days before the Government gave in to EU demands to accept a multibillion euro bail-out – ended with a shot outside a shebeen house.
Message boards and social networking site were awash with angry comments condemning the coverage as “bad taste” and “condescending”.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: “What did we think of the Newsnight Oirish shebeeney leprechauny [sic] graphics?... I personally fainted.”
Another added: “Another simplistic Oirish piece on Newsnight. I mean we’re screwed and we deserve ridicule but spare me the trad music, jigs & condescension.”
Others attacked the current affairs programme after the story was reported on news websites alongside a YouTube clip of the bulletin.
One reader railed: “Are you joking me? ------ racist pigs! That was very deliberately done and meant to insult!”
The BBC said it was investigating whether any official complaints had been made about the programme.