An Irish breakfast show presenter has been professionally reprimanded for calling Susan Boyle a “freak” and “not right in the head.”
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) said that Claire Byrne’s comments were “inherently offensive,” “disrespectful” and “not editorially justified."
Byrne made the comments on-air on Monday, November 17, after the Irish twin singing sensation of John and Edward Grimes were voted off TV show "X-Factor," which had also featured Boyle as a guest.
Byrne said she did not think Boyle was a good enough singer to be on the show.
“She annoys me," she said. "I can’t listen to her or watch her. She does my head in. The whole thing, she’s a freak show, she’s a freak . . . she’s not right in the head . . . it’s because she’s a freak that she’s up there.”
Byrne's employers, Newstalk, claimed that the word “freak” referred to the "Britain's Got Talent" TV show that sent Boyle on her way to global stardom, rather than the singer herself.
The BAI chose to disagree. It said the language was inappropriate and that the comments were “likely to cause offense."