‘I Have Been Deeply Unsatisfied With The Management Of Newstalk’

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Dil Wickremasinghe

Like many I was appalled and disgusted by the comments made by George Hook on his show on Newstalk last Friday.

He unequivocally said that the rape victim in the UK rape case was partly to blame for her own rape.

My immediate reaction was this time he was gone too far and surely the station will react appropriately and at the very least suspend him immediately from the airwaves until a decision is made regarding his future.

Like many other survivors of sexual abuse and violence I didn’t report it or seek support sooner because I thought it was my fault. I actually believed until I was well into my 30s that, at the tender age of 13, I was to blame that my first sexual experience was with a 70-year-old man.

Victim blaming is unacceptable, irresponsible and dangerous. I am deeply disappointed that so far, the only action there has been to address the hurt and distress caused by the comments has been an apology by George Hook and Newstalk.

In my opinion, this does not go far enough, particularly as this is not the first time it has happened. I felt compelled to voice my discontent to management and conveyed to them that I didn’t feel I could share the same airwaves with George Hook until a formal disciplinary action was taken.

Like many of my colleagues I felt, as a station, we need to take a strong stance to show that we have a social conscience and do not condone victim blaming.

For the last decade I have worked extremely hard to create the Global Village show and endeavoured to create a unique radio programme that sheds light on social justice and mental health issues by speaking to the people affected by the issues to raise awareness.

I have always regarded my work on Global Village more than just a job but my own civic duty to spark positive social change one conversation at at time.

Although I enjoy my work as a broadcaster immensely and have some incredible colleagues at Newstalk, I have been deeply unsatisfied with the management of Newstalk as I felt the station has been unsupportive and unwelcoming of female presenters. It is common knowledge that insufficient effort has been made over the years to address the lack of female representation during prime time.

As a result, female presenters are segregated to the weekend schedule. I believe this culture is connected to George Hook’s comments.

I feel unable to share the airwaves with an individual who has no regard for the duty of care we have to the public and as such will not be presenting Global Village this weekend and management understand my position. Most importantly it is my duty as a parent to my two-year-old son Phoenix and four-week-old daughter Xavier to act and be the change I want to see in the world.

I am heartened that there has been a public outrage and Newstalk have launched a full investigation on this matter which I hope will conclude within the next few days so that  I can return to presenting Global Village on Saturday, 23rd September.

Newstalk’s Global Village Dil Wickremasinghe released the above statement last night, before Newstalk announced this morning that George Hook has been suspended.

Dil Wickremasinghe

Previously: Suspended Hook

88 thoughts on “‘I Have Been Deeply Unsatisfied With The Management Of Newstalk’

    1. Harry Molloy

      It really is, I’m often in the car that time of the weekend and I’ve given it many chances but it’s really boring.

      Am sure some people must like it

  1. Eamonn Clancy

    If she truly has the courage to face her convictions and wants to be taken seriously she must do the honourable thing and resign. Talk is cheap/

        1. Cot

          Dil had Connor Lenihan on her show. Did she ask him about his ‘kebabs’ remarks. No. She just sucked up to him.

    1. gerry

      So George Hook should be left in place and should be debated but if a Newstalk presenter disagrees with him and Newstalk’s position they shouldn’t debate, they should walk away?

  2. Spaghetti Hoop

    What exactly will the ” full investigation on this matter” reveal? I find this piece melodramatic. You would think that the length of it would culminate in some sort of retirement message but instead one show won’t appear on the weekend schedule. BFD.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        “I, a rape victim, didn’t like how a company reacted to their employee blaming rape victims’
        ‘Yeah? Well your show is crap!’

        Dav is correct.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yes, harold. You right wing shriekers are very “logical”. Who do you think you’re talking to by the way? :D

          2. snowey

            moyest I amn’t in agreement with you
            but normally when that happens I can actually see a train of thought in your (and dav’s ) points.

            This is nonsense…how is DIl being a windbag and having a poo show similar to hooks comments.
            ?

        1. spudnick

          No mate, it was her threat of ‘not sharing the airwaves’ that people are reacting to by saying her show is crap. But you and Dav can’t pass up a cheap point.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Ok. ‘I, a rape victim, do not want to share a platform with someone who blamed rape victims’

            Yeah, Dav is still correct.

  3. newsjustin

    I’ve listened to Dil’s show quite a few times. She is a classic case of having the very best of intentions but coming out, sometimes, with ludicrous suggestions. That’s not meant to sound patronising – she’s like George…all of us in that regard.

    This thing really does show, I think, that there was/is widespread disquiet within Newstalk about the direction the station is travelling in. Sidelining women presenters and contributers is silly stuff. And never mind gender – thinking people are craving for 2.5 hours of the Ivan Yates show every night is barmy.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      It’s a commercial enterprise, newsjustin. And they’re not stupid. Obviously advertisers have told them what their target market is – and Newstalk have out together shows and presenters that will attract that demographic. Ivan Yates for 2,5 hours every day probably gives that crowd the horn. I don’t believe they’re a bunch of sexist old fools; they’re just in it for the money – and couldn’t care less about quality radio, journalism, gender diversity or whatever else.

  4. Gooch Gooch Gooch

    Dill spoke out against vaccination. Any chance Newstalk would suspend her for her ridiculous views?

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Did she really?

      What an absolute twitbasket. I’m not a fan of her at all, I have to say – and to come out with something as stupid as that is only reinforcing that.

      1. Rich Uncle Skeleton

        Ugh. I searched it and she really did. Idiot. She did put a ? at the end of it which obviously doesn’t excuse her stupidity in the slightest, despite what some folk round ‘ere would have you believe.

        1. martco

          I’d wager because there’s not a lot of quality journalism going on in there it’s just a bracket of content delivery (a lot of which is just noise) & 53106 clickbait of course….out of that place there’s the odd quality item I’ll tune for but overall it’s depressing garbage. Dinny/FG aligned depressing garbage at that which ain’t my thing. I’m not generally dissing those who work there btw. I suspect many will have gone in there with their ideals & morals & life experiences but been whipped to shape up the Newstalk way…just the same as the Dell way or the Barclays way etc. but whatever you know there’s food to be put on the table and rents to be paid. It’s just you get to hear the dirge IF you tune into it.

          I found this George Hook thing very interesting to observe. I think radio is subliminal for some people. Have often heard utterances in the workplace when a subject is being discussed like migrants that I know for a fact are not fitting said listeners usual stance & feelings in life.

          At one point a fair while back I noticed I was increasingly cranky in myself. I wondered why but couldn’t figure it out until I realised the M50 carpark morning & evening was all talk show. So I banned myself from R1, NT & rest of them & concentrated on the music and podcasts as an experiment. Guess what inside a week I was already noticing a lift in humour. Everyone’s different that’s just me.

          I love the oul radio, in fact prefer to telly most of the time. But progressively less & less of the live stuff is of use to me.

          Especially talk radio.

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            That’s a great point about talk radio making you cranky. I know it’s the same for me. I’ve stopped listening to anything like that now. My dad said the same thing. He had talk radio on all day and it did nothing for his state of mind. He tried cutting it out and was amazed at the difference.

  5. Sean

    Headline should have read: “You’ll be hearing even less of a woman you’ve never heard of”.
    The only thing worse than George Hook’s bag of odious opinions are people exploiting this situation to gain some publicity. Btw, was Fintan O’Toole ever even on Newstalk?

  6. b

    So that’s Dil back on the radio and Solidarity, Fintan OToole and Mary Coughlan back appearing on Newstalk

    i hope you’re all happy now

  7. martco

    I’d have put her and oul codger in a broadcast booth together and had them face off over the issue

    far more practically useful than any of the other utter nonsense involving the pair of them over the last 48hrs

    whatever.. I don’t listen to either of them, neither are to my taste so I find other things to listen to instead

  8. Catherinecostelloe

    Anyway the Globe in Canada conducted a 20 month investigation into how Canadian police handled sexual assaults cases. They interviewed dozens of individuals who regularly work with sexual assaults complainants, nurses, crisis – centre staff, criminologists, legal scholars, trauma specialists, police and Crown specialists.
    The vast majority of incapacitated cases never go beyond a police investigation. Of alcoholic related cases 14 out of 18 were closed without charge. , and only 2 resulted in conviction.
    Isn’t that what George Hook was warning about?

  9. snowey

    somebody said earlier DIL was a windbag.

    I want to concur with this.

    DIL is a windbag and a blowhard.
    Her show is crap.

  10. rotide

    Nothing worse than switching on the radio hoping for the end of the sports or at the very least the ted show and having this insufferable windbag fill the air. Awful show.

    I love how she hints at resigning in outrage but doesn’t actually say shes going to do it.

    1. eoghan

      I’ve always wondered who her audience is.
      I can never make it through a full 5 minutes of her show.

      I’m off to see if I can find her audience figures.

      What George said was cack-handed in the extreme, but he has apologised for his words. Seems to me that he was trying to make a point about personal responsibility more than blame. There are bad people in the world and the rest of us need to be careful of them.
      Nevertheless, we must all hang the witch to get Dil back on the air.

      1. Karen

        “There are bad people in the world and the rest of us need to be careful of them.” Except that it’s only ever women who are told to watch their personal safety like hawks, funny that, Eoghan.

  11. AssPants

    Opportunistically offended…..

    You know radio is rather like television, if you don’t like the content of a show, or the show’s presenter; or even the social responsibility of the corporate broadcaster behind the show you are listening/watching, you can actually change the station so you no longer hear those comments and opinions you may not like.

    Very handy to ensure no offense is caused.

  12. Pat Kenny's wife

    I agree with everyone above that regarding the Hook rape comments, Dil’s show is the real issue here

  13. Mark Mywords

    it’s gas all the Newstalk employees now coming to the fore to condemn Hook. They’ve worked with him for ages, they’ve always known what he was like. But are only coming forward now that it’s part of a big public debate.

      1. Mark Mywords

        her twitter page is confusing, she hasn’t seemed to tweet about it, but she’s retweeting fairly contrasting tweets. like shes retweeted people saying “his comments are dispicable” but also retweeting people saying “poor oul’ Hooky, he’s a great man” .. so, she’s not sitting on the fence, she’s dangling a leg down either side of it.

      2. Mark Mywords

        actually she did tweet about it .. she said his comments were awful, but he shouldn’t “be silenced, he should be challenged” .. which is exactly why he makes controversial comments. he does it on purpose to get arguments going.

  14. francis almond

    I’m going to start listening to the GEORGE HOOK what station is he on? Is it NEWSTALK 106 to 108 FM

    1. martco

      congrats

      for bringing that up you get to see Regina Doherty’s smarmy coathanger grin in your sleep for the weekend

      hope you’re happy now

  15. Twunt

    I am deeply unsatisfied with your show. It is awful tripe. All the same I wouldn’t hound you from the airwaves, I just change the dial…as do most others, whenever you’re voice invades their ears.

  16. Anita

    I think George Hook is being treated unfairly in regards to his recent comments, while all rapists are evil twisted mentally ill people. I can understand what he actually meant. Being a woman , i would certainly be wary of ever going back to someone apartment, that i barely knew,unfortuantely this is the society we live in.I think his comments on rape have been generalised and i really don’t feel he meant that the woman in question had what was coming to her by going back to that man’s apartment. He just meant be careful in whom you place your trust. I will be very sorry to see george being axed from newstalk, as i think he is a very honest and interesting presenter.

    1. Twunt

      People are so hypersensitive, they can no longer listen to points of view with which they disagree, they want all opposing points of view silenced.

      1. Pat Kenny's wife

        People need to wake up and realise blaming a rape victim for their own rape is the right approach

  17. Garry33

    Does this mean you will leave newstalk please say yes. Hook made a statement wrong or rigth it was a statement he corrected it and was apologetics after. Let it go people. Nothing presenters making a big deal to bust there profile i never know what your woman looked ive seen 4 photos pf her now on different shows .and as for your man Chris Donohue was just pissed he lost his drive time slot because hes to safe with every thing.

  18. Guy Bague

    “I have always regarded my work on Global Village more than just a job but my own civic duty to spark positive social change one conversation at at time.”

    So, my response is to stop the conversation. Why not have one about the subject… what a complete Dilpoo.

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