Irish actor Gabriel Byrne has spoken about when he worked in RTÉ and the climate of sexual harassment that surrounded the work place in his time there.
Byrne worked with the National Broadcaster in the 1970s.
In an interview with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1, the Irish actor also discussed the allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood stars – actor Kevin Spacey and producer Harvey Weinstein – with whom he is familiar with.
Actor Gabriel Byrne joins Seán to discuss a new documentary he is presenting about the life and career of George Bernard Shaw called “My Astonishing Self” on @RTEOne tonight #TodaySOR pic.twitter.com/ybyk9UtfOy
— Today Sean O’Rourke (@TodaySOR) December 6, 2017
The 67-year-old Dublin-born actor explained on ‘Today With Sean O’Rourke’ that when he first started working on soap opera ‘The Riordans’, sexual harassment was a serious problem in the work place.
“The climate of abject sexism there was absolutely ridiculous,” he stated before recalling how “sex pests” at the station would routinely harass women, including his girlfriend at the time. He also admitted that it was common knowledge that these men were serial offenders. “One of those guys made her life a misery through his sexual improprieties. People just knew it, that’s so and so, he took his trousers down at a meeting. It was a joke.”
The acts went unchallenged and Byrne stated that it was just seen as an acceptable way for those men to act.
“The idea that you would go to RTÉ and complain was not an option.”
Such behaviour was not confined to RTÉ, Byrne added, recalling an incident when a politician propositioned his girlfriend in front on him.
Byrne was promoting ‘My Astonishing Self’, an RTÉ TV documentary on George Bernard Shaw which airs on Wednesday night at half 9 on RTÉ One.
You can listen to his full interview below or here.