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Presenter Sile Seoige believes George Hook was subject to trial by social media

Evoke.ie logoEvoke.ie 12/01/2018 Andrea Kissane

a woman in a black shirt: Presenter Sile Seoige © Provided by Associated News Presenter Sile Seoige Television presenter Sile Seoige says she believes the way that former Newstalk colleague George Hook was treated on social media in the wake of his controversial rape comments was frightening.

She also said that it’s about ‘bloody time’ that women are treated fairly in the workplace.

‘I actually didn’t agree with what happened to George [Hook], the way everyone jumped on the band wagon,’ she said.

‘I think trial by social media is a very real thing and I don’t think it’s healthy, I don’t think it’s good.

‘I think it’s frightening actually and how quickly it can escalate and how people feel sometimes that they can say anything, regardless of how it impacts on the person that’s receiving the information.’

a person posing for the camera: Presenter Sile Seoige © Provided by Associated News Presenter Sile Seoige

The 38-year-old was referring to the social media furore that resulted in the Cork man being forced to step down from his lunchtime show High Noon in September 2017 after comments he made about a rape case.

Speaking at the Pendulum Summit, an event that she hosted in Dublin’s Convention Centre, the Galway woman said she accepted that the veteran broadcaster had acknowledged that he had done wrong and that the episode had sparked a national debate on the issue of consent.

George Hook wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by Associated News

‘I do think the conversation is a really important one to have. I do accept that he was apologetic.

‘Rather than commenting on his comments, I do accept that he knows he did wrong.

‘I think what it brought about was a conversation and a very important conversation to have. So in its own way, I think that was a very healthy thing.’

person wearing a blue shirt: Presenter Síle Seoige © Provided by Associated News Presenter Síle Seoige

While she stresses that she personally has had a great experience of working in the media industry, the TG4 star believes that there is a sea change coming in terms of how women are treated in the workplace.

‘We’re living in very interesting times but I think there is another shift coming and I welcome it with all of my heart because I think it is so badly needed in the world.’

She admires those who have spoken out about their experiences of harassment or have shone a light on inequality.

a woman posing for a picture: Presenter Sile Seoige © Provided by Associated News Presenter Sile Seoige

‘I think the people who have come out and spoken honestly about their own experiences are incredibly brave because talking about anything that’s caused us pain or trauma is really difficult.

‘But it’s also hugely empowering and important for your own well being first and foremost.

‘It also has the knock on effect of giving others the permission to do the same. It makes people feel empowered to do the same.’

person wearing a costume © Provided by Associated News

Oprah Winfrey at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. Pic: REX

She said that she found Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes utterly profound and incredibly moving.

‘The reason I found it those things is that I do feel that there is a change happening, a shift happening on a global scale and that is it time for feminine energy and feminine power to step up,’ she said.

‘I truly feel that. I feel it happening and it’s much needed.’

a woman wearing a red shirt: Presenter Síle Seoige © Provided by Associated News Presenter Síle Seoige

‘It’s about bloody time and let’s see what’s around the corner.

‘I think the more that we, as men and women stand up and are real and honest and speak our truth and say, I don’t agree with this, I do agree with that, this isn’t fair, that is fair, the more it can be reflected and have the domino effect on society.’

George Hook et al. standing in front of a box © Provided by Associated News

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