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U.S. media has picked up the Normal People sex scenes 'outrage' on Liveline

By James Fenton

May 13, 2020 at 3:46pm


The nation braced itself earlier for what Liveline callers had to say after last night's Normal People featured the longest sex scene in Irish TV history.

However, many were left disappointed as the topic of Normal People didn't even come up, much to the relief of host Joe Duffy no doubt...

It was all very different to a couple of weeks ago when the RTE airwaves were filled with people giving out about the sex scenes in the TV adaptation of the Sally Rooney novel. It seems to have caused such a stir that Newsweek across the Atlantic has even picked up on the drama of it all.

Joe himself has shared the link on his Twitter page and while he takes issue with being referred to as a 'veteran broadcaster', it's a good insight into how Liveline-gate is playing out across the pond...

The publication has titled the piece 'Normal People sex scenes spark outrage in religious middle Ireland' and goes on to say that Liveline, one of Ireland's most popular radio talk shows was 'inundated with calls from viewers outraged by the sex scenes in Normal People.'

It continues: 'In a fascinating episode broadcast in Ireland on April 30, some callers condemned the show's sex scenes, resurfacing Ireland's complicated history of sexual repression.

'The country's devout Catholic values shaped most of the 20th century, dominating many aspects of everyday life, and these beliefs still run deep in some communities. For example, sex before marriage was deeply taboo and women who gave birth out of wedlock were often sent to the Magdalene Laundries, institutions where so-called "fallen women" were incarcerated. One caller, Mary, said: "It's like something you would expect to see in a porno movie." Another caller said: "It's sexualizing our young people. It's not normal."'

With six more episodes due to be screened on RTE in the coming weeks, there's plenty more where that came from, Newsweek. Let's hope Joe is ready.

The full Newsweek piece can be read here.


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