Des Bishop apologises for prejudice to Travellers | Comedian had been blasted as '‘shocking, degrading and racist’

Des Bishop apologises for prejudice to Travellers

Comedian had been blasted as '‘shocking, degrading and racist’

Des Bishop has issued a apology to Ireland’s Travellers after offensive comments he made on a US radio show came to light.

The comedian faced a backlash after footage of him speaking about the community on Jim Norton and Sam Roberts’s Sirius XM show was circulated on social median.

In the interview he said Travellers ‘drink a lot’, get violent when they drink’ and throw extravagant first Communion celebrations despite them being ‘all on social welfare’.

He described the community as 'rough' and 'paranoid' adding: 'There is a lot of inbreeding".

Even in the interview he acknowledged the Travellers are ‘very discriminated against’ as he told how he lived with them for a month in Tuam, Co Galway, for a documentary on stand-up comedy in deprived areas.

Before making his more controversial comments, he said: ‘They were great fun, but you know, like all marginalised, disadvantaged groups they have some social problems.’

Today the Irish-based, American-born comic posted an unreserved apology to the Traveller community, writing: ‘I especially apologise to the community in Tuam who were so welcoming to me 15 years ago when we were filming Joy in the Hood.

‘The experience was so positive for me, which I am sure makes it even more hurtful for them to hear such negative comments about their community, uttered by someone who they treated so well.

‘It is no consolation that I am so disappointed in myself because I don’t believe in these stereotypes and that I spoke so freely about on the show.

‘I have always wanted to be someone who helped to end prejudice against Travellers in Ireland but I clearly had a blind spot to my own prejudice.’

Bernard Joyce, director of the Irish Traveller Movement, had described Bishop’s comments as ‘shocking, degrading and racist’.

Published: 21 Oct 2020

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.