pits of abuse | 

Doireann Garrihy joins Maura Higgins in defending Molly-Mae following online backlash

'God forbid any of us ever said something tone deaf at the age of 22 that we might later regret or want to take back'
Doireann Garrihy. Picture by Gerry Mooney

Doireann Garrihy. Picture by Gerry Mooney

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

RTE's Doireann Garrihy has joined Maura Higgins in defending Molly-Mae Hauge from the “pits” of abuse the former Love Islander has endured since her recent comments about privilege and poverty.

The influencer has been roundly slammed after she debated on a podcast how anyone can achieve anything if they simply work hard enough for it.

Listeners took offence after she failed to acknowledge her privileged upbringing as well as the massive boost her appearance on Love Island gave her.

Presenter Garrihy said: "God forbid any of us ever said something tone deaf at the age of 22 that we might later regret or want to take back.

“This level of vitriol is the pits. In other news, it’s Caroline Flack’s anniversary next month."

It follows Maura Higgins comments in which she also jumped to Molly-Mae’s defence.

She was responding to Shaughna Phillips, who appeared on series six of the ITV2 show, when she shared her thoughts on the matter on Twitter.

"Molly Mae is young, who’s had a lot of success really quickly, and not a lot of ‘life’,” Shaughna had posted.

Maura Higgins and Molly-Mae Hague PIC Instagram

Maura Higgins and Molly-Mae Hague PIC Instagram

"So I can understand why she holds those views. We all say things when we’re younger and look back and think 'well that was stupid' lol. No shade, I wanna live in her bubble."

Responding to the tweet Maura said she was “surprised” by her thoughts.

"Surely you know as someone in this industry how lonely and scary it can be when the whole internet is slamming you," Maura said.

"Your entitled to your opinion yes but I’m really surprised you commenting on this at all."

However, Shaughna said she was “defending” Molly-Mae in her original tweet.

Speaking on Steve Bartlett's The Diary of a CEO, Molly-Mae had said: "You’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it. You can literally go in any direction.

"When I’ve spoken in the past I’ve been slammed a little bit, with people saying, ‘It’s easy for you to say that, you’ve not grown up in poverty, you’ve not grown up with major money struggles. So for you to sit there and say we all have the same 24 hours in a day is not correct'.

"But technically what I’m saying is correct – we do.

"I understand we all have different backgrounds and we’re raised in different ways and have different financial situations, but if you want something enough you can achieve it.

"It just depends to what lengths you want to go to get to where you want to be in the future. And I’ll go to any length. I’ve worked my absolute arse off to get where I am now.”

However, the influencer, who is also the "creative director" of fast fashion brand Pretty Little Thing and is paid a reported sum of £500,000 a year, has been criticised for the comments.

Ellie-Mae O'Hagan, head of left-wing think tank CLASS, said: "The Molly-Mae thing goes beyond influencers.

"I've listened to people who have two jobs and still can't pay the bills make similar arguments.

"Most people are emotionally attached to the idea that hard work reaps rewards. How to address that is complex and not easy to answer."

BBC presenter Jess Davies tweeted: "I respect Molly Mae for making the most of her opportunity & grabbing it with both hands, but I DESPAIR at the quote about everyone having the same time in a day as Beyonce.

"The reality is that social inequality means there'll never be an even playing field.

"Race, Health, Gender, Social class, Sexuality, Mental Health, Disability - the list goes on. Society is not designed to give everyone equal opportunity and this is unfortunately just tone deaf straight out of a Girl Boss meme."

Dazed journalist Anna Cafolla also added her voice to the criticism, saying: "Influencer culture is tacitly right-wing. Social platforms bank on individualism championed by girl boss stock characters so young people don't have the tools or space to educate + self-critique - not algorithm-friendly."

Other social media users turned to calling Hague a "Thatcherite" following her comments, with one calling her "Thatcher with a fake tan".

Away from social media, users of Wikipedia edited Hague's entry to name her "Molly-Mae Thatcher", changing part of her entry to say she is best known "for having worked harder than anyone less successful than her".

The changes have since been removed.

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