Irish TV comedy sketch depicting God as a ‘rapist’ removed from streaming service

Irish TV comedy sketch depicting God as a ‘rapist’ removed from streaming service

A TV comedy sketch depicting God as a ‘rapist’ has been removed from RTE’s streaming service. 

The skit, which aired on New Year’s Eve, has been taken down after the broadcaster was inundated with thousands of complaints. 

RTE has already issued an apology for broadcasting the sketch. 

However, the station’s Editorial Board is calling for further action after determining that RTE “did not comply” with its own standards and practices. 

As a result, they have ruled that the national broadcaster should turn itself in to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) amid accusations of blasphemy. 

According to the Irish Sun, an internal assessment has concluded that the skit failed to show “due respect” for religious beliefs. 

It marks a major turnaround for RTE, who previously refused to delete the sketch from the version of the programme available to view online. 

In the skit, a man in a white robe is led to court while former newsreader Aengus Mac Grianna, in voiceover, explains: “In another shocking revelation this year, God became the latest figure to be implicated in ongoing sexual harassment scandals.   

“The five-billion-year-old stood accused of forcing himself on a young middle-eastern migrant and allegedly impregnating her against her will.   

“He was sentenced to two years in prison with the last 24 months suspended.”  

The sketch sparked an angry response from the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin who described it as “deeply offensive”.  

“To broadcast such a deeply offensive and blasphemous clip about God and Our Blessed Mother Mary during the Christmas season is insulting to all Catholics and Christians.”  

RTE’s Editorial Board has now determined the sketch caused "undue offence" and will now conduct a review of the process by which the sketch ended up being broadcast. 

The broadcaster will also run a public apology in which it will admit the sketch did not meet its own standards.