Broadcaster RTE Says Irish Rappers Kneecap Wore Pro-Palestine Badges On Ireland’s ‘The Late Late Show’ After Initially Agreeing Not To

Viewers tuning in for Ireland’s popular The Late Late Show on Friday night saw the country’s rap trio Kneecap performing and sitting down in conversation, wearing pro-Palestine badges and clothing.

Saturday Irish broadcaster RTÉ released a statement to say that, prior to their appearance, the band had agreed through their management not to wear the emblems – but then proceeded to wear them live on air.

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The Journal reports that the show’s producers had earlier told them that their performance would have to be cancelled if they decided to wear the badges, and they’d agreed not to.

RTÉ added in the statement released to The Journal: “However, during the live performance and the subsequent interview, the band chose not to comply with that agreement. They put badges on and revealed that one band member was wearing a Palestinian football jersey.”

Kneecap’s Mo Chara and Móglaí Bap each wore a watermelon badge – the fruit having become a pro-Palestine accessory due to its colours matching those of the Palestine flag – then, during the chat with host Patrick Kielty, DJ Próvaí removed his jacket to reveal a Palestine sports jersey.

Kielty noted the “costume change” and said: “I’m obliged to say this – that our thoughts are with everybody in that conflict.

“Some horrific stuff is happening there. I’m also obliged to say that in the politics, there’s another side and some people might not agree with what you’ve done.”

Kneecap’s Móglaí Bap told Kielty that the group wants to “use our platform to highlight the genocide that’s happening in Palestine at the moment.”

He said that over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed “by American weapons” in the conflict so far and added: “I think we have to use this platform and this opportunity to appeal to Irish people to attend rallies and protests and to support the BDS movement, and to show solidarity with Palestine and hopefully one day Palestine will be free.”

In their statement, RTÉ said that the team of editorial professionals that work on the Late Late Show proceeded to act “in full compliance” with RTÉ’s guidelines, and “adapted” filming and took action, whereby Kielty “provided context and balance” to the discussion with Kneecap.

RTÉ said last week that contributors are asked not to wear clothing related to “one particular point of view” as part of its impartiality guidelines.

Last month, Deadline confirmed that Sony Pictures Classic had acquired the biopic Kneecap, starring the group’s members playing themselves, with Michael Fassbender playing their charismatic father turned political martyre. The film played Sundance, reportedly the first Irish-language movie to do so.

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