George Hook, the Irish radio host who blamed victims on the air for rape earlier this month, is losing his talk show on Irish radio station Newstalk for three months.
In a Sept. 8 program, Hook suggested a victim was at fault for her rape by commenting about the lack of “personal responsibility,” as iMediaEthics previously reported. “The real issues nowadays and increasingly is the question of the personal responsibility that young girls are taking for their own safety,” Hook said in part. He and Newstalk later apologized for the remarks. However, Pat McCann, the CEO of one of the show’s sponsors, Clayton Hotels, told iMediaEthics he planned to cancel its advertising on the program. Supermarket chain Tesco stopped advertising on Hook’s program in mid-September as well.
In a statement, Newstalk said Hook is losing his daily radio program High Noon as a result of his comments about rape. But, Newstalk will bring Hook back on the air in December for a weekend program. iMediaEthics wrote to Newstalk and to Hook to ask if he will be paid during this time and if he will work for Newstalk in an off-air capacity or if he will be considered suspended. Newstalk referred us to its PR representatives, who pointed to the Newstalk statement about Hook losing his show.
The new Newstalk statement reads in full:
“Newstalk has now concluded the process which reviewed the circumstances that led to George Hook’s comments on rape recently.
“The station confirms that George Hook will be stepping down from his lunchtime slot. He will return to the station in December 2017 when he will take on a new weekend show. Newstalk will shortly be announcing a replacement for the lunchtime show.
“Newstalk will not be making any further comment on this issue.”
Hook was suspended in mid-September, according to a Sept. 15 statement on Newstalk’s website.
The Broadcasting Association of Ireland received eight complaints over the comments, the Irish Independent reported.
Hook deactivated his Twitter account following the controversy, the Irish Sun reported.