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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Katie Gallagher

Johnny B of the 2 Johnnies defends duo live on RTE Liveline as he's grilled by host over comments

Johnny B of The 2 Johnnies has defended their name during a live Liveline debate as RTE confirmed that they will remain off air while bosses ‘review the matter'.

The podcaster’s turned presenters found themselves in the centre of controversy this week after they were accused of airing ‘sexist and insulting comments’ in their podcast, and clips used to promote their new 2fm radio show.

In the video, the duo known as Johnny Smacks and Johnny B, discuss a number of crude references about women on car bumper stickers.

In a segment they called ‘Irish Car Stickers’, the Tipperary natives - real names Johnny McMahon, 30, and Johnny O’Brien, 35, - read out some of the sticker slogans sent in by listeners, such as: “Workin’ the land and droppin’ the hand #Keephercountry”.

Others included: “Tyres are like women, no good unless they are squealing” and “She’s not a princess, she’s a sl*t.”

Reacting to some of the slogans they were sent in, the duo said: "Jesus, I don't know who gets that and thinks it is a good idea. Scandalous."

After they were hit with huge backlash this week and accused of airing ‘sexist and offensive content’ the double act have apologised for the comments, saying: "We would like to apologise for the content which appeared on our social media, these posts were offensive and should never have been published.

"This is not who we are nor what we stand for. We aim to do better in the future, we are not perfect and we are learning all the time. John O’Brien and John McMahon"

But as their future on the radio hangs in the balance whilst RTE ‘review the matter’ Johnny B took to flagship talk show Liveline on Friday afternoon to defend themselves during a debate about the issue.

Speaking to Katie Hannon, who was filling in for Joe Duffy in his absence this week, Johnny said: “Some of them were crude and some of them were too far.

“When we read them out our intention was to condemn them. And to say that if you have this on your car you should really think twice and take them down. Or if your mate has them on their car, have a word with them.

“We made fun of the people who had some of these on their car, because some of them are too far and offensive.

“We did not go far enough. And we were not clear enough in our condemnation of them.”

Host Katie said: "They(the comments) are supposedly funny, quite crude, I think I read one out earlier, 'she's no princess, she's a slut' was one of them, the 2 Johnnies said that had been sent in by a girl it was a girl's car it was on.

"That's I would say on the milder end of the level of crudeness, there were several mentioned that were read out that I would honestly not say, I wouldn't say them on an afternoon radio programme or indeed any radio programme."

She added: "I should say of course, RTE did not think this was funny either, they did not present their programme yesterday."

As the host questioned Johnny on why they can be heard laughing off the crude slogans, the Tipperary native said they weren’t responsible for the editing of the video clip in question, which they feel removed the context of their discussion on the podcast.

But he said they are taking full responsibility for posting it to their social media account which has 212,000 followers.

“We were laughing at some of them at how bad they are. We couldn’t believe the use of the word ‘sl*t’ that is a word we never use, it is not in our vocabulary. And you can listen to our 400 odd podcasts out there and you won’t hear that word. So when we read that out it was a woman who sent that in about her own car. We couldn’t believe it.”

“The social media clip that went out, the context is taken out,” he said.

“As soon as we saw it, we took it down. We didn’t edit that video, it was one of our team, which makes it our responsibility and we have to stand over it. And as soon as we saw it, we took it down. And that’s why we have apologised for it.

“Because without the context, that video is offensive. Look, on the podcast, we were condemning these stickers. In our own language, which was not far enough.”

He added: “We didn’t condemn them enough. But we did say, ‘this is scandalous, this is too far’.”

The new RTE 2fm drive time presenter went on to clarify that the video had nothing to do with RTE, despite including a line to promote their new show which launched on the station on Monday.

He said: “The video is offensive. And the ‘RTE catch the 2 Johnnies on RTE sticker’ at the end was an accident. That should have never been on it. It had nothing to do with 2fm.”

He went on: “People that listen to our podcast know the things we talk about, consent and body image and sexuality and we only had a sex and relationship expert on the podcast two weeks ago.

“And we are always trying to do better. And that’s why we have apologised because we were not good enough in this instance. And we are learning and we will do better.”

The comments come as RTE confirmed earlier this afternoon that the new presenter’s will remain off air while they ‘review the matter’.

Asked if he knew when they would return, Johnny added: “That is not a discussion for today. RTE have their own guidelines and that is a question for them.”

“But we want to tell people to listen to our podcast they will know what we are about and we do not condone these kind of things. We know there are young people who listen to us, and we know how important we are to the conversation and we try to make that conversation inclusive and open.

“And we are not experts and we say stupid tough all the time, but we are trying Katie.”

It comes after a number of TD’s have condemned the clips, which were used on social media to promote their new RTE 2fm drivetime show which launched on Monday, and have called for the national broadcaster to address the matter.

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