- 22 Sep 09
Tommy Tiernan has issued a statement in response to accusations of anti-semitism, which have been levelled at him following his appearance at the Hot Press Chat Room at Electric Picnic.
The controversy erupted when Allan Shatter TD launched an attack on the comedian in the Sunday Tribune, and has since become an international story.
"As a private individual I am greatly upset by the thought that these comments have caused hurt to others as this was never my intention," he says. However, he goes on to elaborate on the real context for the humour that has subsequently been misinterpreted in such a hostile way.
"The Electric Picnic public interview with Hot Press Magazine has been taken so far out of context that I am quite bewildered," Tiernan says and he goes on... "The things that I said in front of a live audience were in an attempt to explain my belief that one of the duties of the comic performer is to be reckless and irresponsible and that the things that they say should NEVER be taken out of context."
In his statement, Tiernan also quotes Hot Press editor, Niall Stokes' comments, published on hotpress.com yesterday. “if you see or read it in context," Stokes said, "there is a comment in there about people who are fanatical and who can’t take a joke. But to interpret it as anti-Semitism is wrongheaded in the extreme. The way I see it, he is satirising anti-Semitism, while making a more general point that we should all be able to laugh at ourselves.”
The full transcript of the interview appears in the latest edition of Hot Press, which will be available on Thursday. Niall Stokes also returns to the subject at greater length in his column, The Message.
To read the full statement go here