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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Mark O'Brien

RTE take The 2 Johnnies off air as it reviews video branded 'demeaning' to women

New RTE presenters The 2 Johnnies were taken off the air today over a video promoting their new show that contains several crude references to women.

The Tipperary podcasters, real names John O’Brien and John McMahon, began hosting their new 2FM show on Monday.

But a video taken from their podcast which contains a number of derogatory references to women was posted on social media on Monday, referencing the new RTE show Drive It with The 2 Johnnies, reports the Irish Independent.

The duo addressed the controversy in a statement released this afternoon, apologising for the "offensive" posts.

They said: "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."

The video was posted 90 minutes before the 2 Johnnies' first 2FM show, which was set to air from 3pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

In the clip, the pair read out and comment on a number of car stickers that make crude references to women.

Some of the slogans included; “Workin’ the land and droppin' the hand”, “Tyres are like women, no good unless they are squealing” and “If you can make a girl laugh and giggle, you can make her cheeks clap and wiggle”.

The video and social media posts reference the presenters' new shows on 2FM, saying: “Drive It with The 2 Johnnies Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm RTÉ 2FM.”

The video has been slammed as "deeply derogatory and demeaning of women" by Fine Gael TD Ciaran Cannon, who is a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality.

He said: “The use of language that is deeply derogatory and demeaning of women cannot be tolerated by our national broadcaster. Our licence fee cannot be used to fund an undermining of our ambition to make Ireland a more equal and safer place for women.

“Negative attitudes towards women are wired into our brains early in life, and a station that targets young people should be aware of this and act accordingly. The 2 Johnnies have a huge following across the country, with a particularly significant influence on young men.

“Their comments directed at women were demeaning and lacking in basic respect. They objectified women’s bodies, with absolutely no regard as to their personhood.”

Deputy Cannon also called on RTE to address the issue.

He added: “At a time when we are having a national conversation about toxic masculinity and standing up for women and girls, often on RTÉ programmes, this raises many questions.

"Was the video compliant with the principles of RTÉ 2FM? What is the station’s opinion on the language used by the men?

“We need answers and reassurance that this kind of material will not be broadcast or endorsed.

“When we talk about calling out toxic masculinity, we must consider it in every context. Men in particular must stand up and call it out, even if doing so proves unpopular."

A spokeswoman for RTE told Dublin Live: "RTE believes in dignity and respect and does not tolerate material or attitudes of this nature. The 2 Johnnies will not be on air today while we review the matter."

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