An image from the “NYE Countdown Show” that aired Dec. 31 on RTÉ, Ireland’s state broadcaster, depicting an actor dressed as God being taken into custody by police. (Credit: screen grab.)
LEICESTER, United Kingdom – Ireland’s top archbishop has condemned a program on the state broadcaster as “deeply offensive” after it aired a fake news report on the arrest of God for rape.
The incident happened on the “NYE Countdown Show” aired Dec. 31 on RTÉ, the main broadcast network of the Republic of Ireland.
WTF @rte Shocking,not even remotely funny, #NewYearsEve #fools #rte #Shambles pic.twitter.com/PhbfznAp1v
— paul kelly (@paulie_lufc) December 31, 2020
The show featured a series of fake news broadcasts, including a segment where the fake newsreader announces: “In a shocking revelation this year, God became the latest figure to be implicated in ongoing sexual harassment scandals. The 5-billion-year-old stood accused of forcing himself on a young middle-eastern migrant and impregnating her against her will, before being sentenced to two years in prison, with the last 24 months suspended.”
The video included an actor wearing a white robe and fake beard yelling: “It was 2,000 years ago!”
In a tweet, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland and head of the Irish bishops’ conference, said he was “shocked” that RTÉ producers “didn’t realise how deeply offensive” the segment was.
“This outrageous clip should be removed immediately & denounced by all people of goodwill,” his tweet said.
1. I am shocked that producer/editor of ‘NYE Countdown Show’ @RTE @RTEOne didn’t realise how deeply offensive was a mocking ‘news report’ accusing God of rape & reporting his imprisonment. This outrageous clip should be removed immediately & denounced by all people of goodwill.
— Eamon Martin (@ArchbishopEamon) January 1, 2021
“To broadcast such a deeply offensive and blasphemous clip about God & Our Blessed Mother Mary during the Christmas season on ‘NYE Countdown Show’ on [RTÉ and] on Eve of the Solemn Feast of Mary, Mother of God is insulting to all Catholics and Christians,” the archbishop said in a second tweet.
The fake news segments on the program were made in association with Waterford Whispers News, an Irish satirical news website similar to The Onion.
Follow Charles Collins on Twitter: @CharlesinRome