Ireland Newstalk staff letter demands Hook be taken off air immediately

19:25  12 september  2017
19:25  12 september  2017 Source:   Journal.ie

'George Hook needs to get off his dinosaur backside' - Rape victim criticises broadcaster for 'outrageous' and 'offensive' remarks about rape

  'George Hook needs to get off his dinosaur backside' - Rape victim criticises broadcaster for 'outrageous' and 'offensive' remarks about rape A rape victim has criticised veteran Broadcaster George Hook for "blaming rape-victims" during a segment on his show. Speaking today on his Newstalk show, High Noon, George Hook spoke about a young girl in the UK, who was raped by a former member of the British swimteam."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," George Hook said."But when you then look deeper into the story you have to ask certain questions.

“Misogyny should never be normalised,” according to a draft letter signed by around 20 staff .

Up to 20 members of staff at Newstalk are understood to have drafted a letter of protest in relation to remarks made by George Hook on his radio show, and asked that he be taken off air . The remarks, which related to a rape case in the UK, caused widespread condemnation from groups

George Hook© Newstalk George Hook STAFF AT NEWSTALK have drafted a letter to management calling for George Hook to be taken off air in light of his comments about rape last Friday – but were asked by the company earlier today not to proceed with it.

TheJournal.ie understands that the letter was due to be handed to station bosses this morning, but that a meeting was then called and staff informed that a ”process” to respond to the issue was taking place and that it would conclude shortly.

The letter, which has been signed by around 20 staff, says that the longer 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”.

George Hook apologises for 'unacceptable' comments about rape

  George Hook apologises for 'unacceptable' comments about rape George Hook has today apologised for comments he made about rape on his Newstalk radio programme. The broadcaster came under fire for the comments he made on his radio show, High Noon, on Friday.In a statement issued today, Mr Hook said he wanted to "apologise unreservedly for comments" he made about rape."It was unacceptable to suggest in any way that blame could be attributed to victims of rape. I apologise for the comments which caused hurt and offence, and for this I am truly sorry.

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“Misogyny should never be normalised,” the draft letter says. It goes on to call upon management to ”defend the reputation of the station and the reputation of the staff at Newstalk by removing Mr Hook”.

News of the letter’s existence is likely to increase pressure on management to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the company and the majority of staff sooner rather than later.

A spokesperson for Newstalk confirmed to TheJournal.ie that a process to respond to Hook’s remarks had been underway since Friday. The meeting today was to inform staff of those proceedings, the spokesperson said.

No letter from staff had yet been presented to management, according to the spokesperson.

  Newstalk staff letter demands Hook be taken off air immediately © Newstalk Hook, who has been a mainstay at Newstalk since it was set up as a Dublin-only station in 2002, has been under sustained pressure in the wake of his comments at the start of his High Noon programme on Friday afternoon.

George Hook apologises for 'unacceptable' comments about rape

  George Hook apologises for 'unacceptable' comments about rape George Hook has today apologised for comments he made about rape on his Newstalk radio programme. The broadcaster came under fire for the comments he made on his radio show, High Noon, on Friday.In a statement issued today, Mr Hook said he wanted to "apologise unreservedly for comments" he made about rape."It was unacceptable to suggest in any way that blame could be attributed to victims of rape. I apologise for the comments which caused hurt and offence, and for this I am truly sorry.

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Referencing a UK case in which a Commonwealth Games swimmer was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman, Hook asked "is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger?”.

Hook and Newstalk offered full apologies on Saturday after his comments were met with widespread criticism from former abuse victims and campaigners. However, the Communicorp station has come under further pressure since then, after the Dalata Hotel Group terminated its sponsorship deal with Newstalk yesterday.

Singer Mary Coughlan walked off an interview on Newstalk in protest© www.marycoughlanmusic.com Singer Mary Coughlan walked off an interview on Newstalk in protest

The dispute spilled out onto the station’s airwaves yesterday too, when singer Mary Coughlan cut short an interview with evening presenter Ivan Yates, telling the broadcaster  it “wasn’t the first time” Hook had made such negative comments against women.

The letter has been signed by both presenting and production staff at the station.

Clayton Hotels threatens to pull sponsorship from Newstalk over George Hook rape comments

  Clayton Hotels threatens to pull sponsorship from Newstalk over George Hook rape comments Sponsorship for George Hook’s radio programme could be under threat, as the show’s main sponsor has branded his comments “totally unacceptable.” Pat McCann, the Chief Executive of Dalata, who own the Clayton Hotels,  hit out at the High Noon host yesterday and threatened to withdraw its sponsorship.Speaking to the Sunday Business Post, he said: “George Hook is fundamentally out of touch with reality. I am the father of two daughters and I find those types of comments totally unacceptable.“This contract is up for renewal in October and this will bring into focus whether we will continue to sponsor the programme.

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This is the full text:

We the undersigned wish to express our utter repudiation of the views expressed by George Hook on High Noon last Friday.

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 managementat Communicorp to defend the reputation of the station and the reputation of the staff at Newstalk by removing Mr Hook.

It’s expected management’s process to deal with Hook’s comments will conclude in a matter of a short number of days, if not sooner.

'My feeling is that it’s the end of George Hook's career with Newstalk' - Ivan Yates .
Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates say they have no concerns about having to censor their opinions in the wake of the George Hook controversy, as his views are not something they support. The two broadcasters, whose radio stations are owned by the same company, Communicorp, will join forces this evening to co-anchor Vincent Browne’s replacement programme, The Tonight Show, on TV3. Yates, who also fronts a show on Newstalk, said he “utterly repudiates” the remarks made about rape victims by Hook – who was suspended last Friday – and reckons it could be the end of the former rugby pundit’s career with the station.

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