Derry Girls Nicola Coughlan Spreads Viral Hashtag #TurnOffPrimeTime

Derry Girls Nicola Coughlan Spreads Viral Hashtag #TurnOffPrimeTime

After RTÉ announced they would be broadcasting a debate on Transgender issues, with guest Graham Linehan, (a writer and creator who has no expertise in the area, either from personal or a medical perspective) it didn't take long for the people of Ireland to denounce their belief in the National broadcaster once again and stand by their fellow Transgender citizens in protest against the unjust platform given to someone who has repeatedly been known to harass the LGBT community.

When the prerecorded debate was advertised after last weeks episode of Prime Time, an online petition was immediately drawn up to discourage RTÉ from broadcasting the debate, gaining 5,000 signatures in two days.

The petition states:  “Graham Linehan is not a medical expert and he is not transgender. He has frequently expressed transphobic views in public and has used his social media platform to denigrate transgender people.”

RTÉ released a statement after many made it clear they will not support the offensive broadcast saying that they hoped viewers "will find the programme a fair and responsible examination of an issue of considerable public importance”.

It may be a reasonable decision to have such debates in the UK, where many Transgender rights are being attacked due to a lack of protection or recognition from the government, but here in Ireland, since 2015, it has been legal for Transgender people to legally change their sexual identity after the age of 18. Ireland has been one of the most supportive countries for Transgender issues, due to the work of TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland) and we have shown how progressive our country can be, which is why many feel this debate will do no good other than pointlessly harm the LGBT community.

Last night before the dreaded show was due to air, Nicola Coughlan from Derry Girls, began to express her views on the issues, as well as beginning a now viral hashtag in Ireland, #TurnOffPrimeTime, which included other suggestions on what to watch instead of switching over to RTÉ. This hashtag gained a huge amount of momentum, trending more than the shows #rtept hashtag.


She continued to offer better viewing material than Prime Time over the course of the show on RTÉ, which of course includes Derry Girls itself.



The hashtag gained a huge following with hundreds of people adding their own suggestions, and giving their two cents on the complete shambles of a debate.

The hashtag was trending more in Ireland than #rtept, as well as the #NTAs, with #solidariT and #TransRightsAreHumanRights following shortly behind in the top five trends in Ireland.

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