Here's what people had to say about George Hook's 'blame' comments

So if you haven't heard, George Hook is under pressure after some pretty controversial comments he made last week, writes Amy Ryan.

He was discussing a case about a woman in the UK who had been raped by an ex-member of the British swim team.

"She was passed around went the story apparently. She went to bed with one guy and he went out and another guy comes in. She doesn't want to have relations with the second guy but he forced himself upon her. Awful," said George on the show.

Then he raised the question of personal responsibility, and blame, asking: "Why does a girl who just meets a fella in a bar go back to a hotel room?

"She's only just barely met him. She has no idea of his health conditions, she has no idea who he is, no idea what dangers he might pose."

"Is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger?"

Here's how Twitter reacted to the comments.

Charities have slammed his comments and called for guidelines on how the media cover the issue of rape.

Women's Aid in Northern Ireland posted a public service announcement following what they termed his "horrendous victim-blaming comments".

Singer Mary Coughlan walked out of an interview on Newstalk yesterday in protest at George's comments.

She was appearing on the Hard Shoulder programme with Ivan Yates and told him there was "nothing personal" in her walking out. Later, she took to Twitter to criticise the station.

She blamed Newstalk's "increasingly right wing policies" on the lack of action.

Lisa Tierney-Keogh, a playwright and activist, took to Twitter to encourage victims of rape to make a complaint to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

She posted her complaint on Twitter:

So is there anyone on George's side?

Pat Kenny said: “I listened to his apology and he meant it, he is genuinely contrite. He is devastated by this.

“He realises what he said didn’t come out right and accepts that some people were hurt.”

According to The Herald, Pat said that people listen to George because of his strong opinions.

“He has always been a controversialist, that’s why people listen to him," he said.

“The comments are not reflective of him. He is a decent man with children and was musing over a topic.

“He has entertained people for 13 years and it would be sad that people would take his mis-speaking on the radio as the real representation of George the man,” he added.

Some have taken to Twitter to defend him too, stating that he doesn't deserve the heavy criticism he has received following the remarks.

However, many of his colleagues don't agree.

A draft letter has been circulated among and signed by around 20 members of staff, calling for Mr Hook’s removal.

"There's a lot of staff who are not happy, as [the controversy over Hook] really reflects on the rest of us," a source said.

The letter said that staff wish to express their "utter repudiation" of the views expressed by George Hook on High Noon last Friday.

It read: "We also wish to express our profound disappointment with management in Communicorp at their failure to deal with this issue swiftly and decisively.

“The longer George Hook remains on air, the more reputational damage this station will suffer: damage that will unfairly reflect on the hardworking and professional staff at Newstalk.

“Misogyny should never be normalised, and we call upon management at Communicorp to defend the reputation of the station and the reputation of the staff at Newstalk by removing Mr Hook.”

The sponsors of George Hook's talk show, Dalata Hotel Group also terminated their commercial agreement with Newstalk following his comments. Read more about that here.

The Herald also reported that Newstalk had launched a full investigation into the comments.

A spokesperson for Newstalk said "a process is undergoing and has been in place since last Friday. It is expected to conclude shortly."

 

By Amy Ryan

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