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'incredible chemistry' RTÉ 2FM's The 2 Johnnies accused of posting ‘virulently sexist’ video

Holly Cairns highly critical of comedy duo over their promo clip


Johnny McMahon and Johnny O’Brien are The 2 Johnnies

Johnny McMahon and Johnny O’Brien are The 2 Johnnies

Johnny McMahon and Johnny O’Brien are The 2 Johnnies

A video containing “virulently sexist” material promoting a new RTÉ radio programme with ‘The 2 Johnnies’ has been condemned.

The video, featuring two new RTÉ presenters, contains several crude references to women’s genitalia.

Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns says RTÉ presenters should be calling out sexist comments, “not laughing along with them, and certainly not promoting them”.

Johnny McMahon and Johnny O’Brien began hosting a new drive-time show on 2FM under their stage name, The 2 Johnnies, last Monday.

RTÉ hired the Tipperary natives due to their “incredible chemistry and content”.

However, the programme was being promoted by the comedy duo in a video that portrayed women in a negative light.

The innuendo-laden video came from The 2 Johnnies podcast, which is separate from their new RTÉ show.

But RTÉ’s 2FM is clearly referenced in the video and in social-media posts to promote the show: ‘Drive It with The 2 Johnnies, Monday-Friday, 3pm-6pm, RTÉ 2FM.’

Other social-media posts also specifically reference the station: ‘Hear us on 2FM’. The video has since been deleted.

In the video, the presenters read out and comment on a series of vulgar car stickers sent in to them by listeners of their podcast.

Among the slogans read out during the piece were: ‘Workin’ the land and droppin’ the hand’, ‘Tyres are like women, no good unless they are squealing’, and ‘Hocus Pocus, I got your girl in my Focus’.

Other stickers included: ‘If you can make a girl laugh and giggle, you can make her cheeks clap and wiggle’ and ‘She’s not a princess, she’s a sl*t’.

The Irish Independent has chosen not to publish other offensive remarks made during the podcast.

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The video, which is no longer online, finishes with a promotional advertisement for their RTÉ 2FM programme.


One of the car stickers highlighted in The 2 Johnnies video

One of the car stickers highlighted in The 2 Johnnies video

One of the car stickers highlighted in The 2 Johnnies video

Ms Cairns, her party’s social justice spokesperson, said there had been a national conversation recently about violence against women in which men were implored to call out sexist and misogynistic comments when they see them.

“It is therefore bizarre to see two prominent podcasters and 2FM broadcasters promote a segment on their podcast, in which they read virulently sexist slogans while laughing uproariously.

“Sexist comments, in which women are objectified and demeaned, are incredibly insidious and contribute to a toxic culture in which women feel unsafe.

"Dressing these remarks up as banter or jokes does nothing to dull their damaging impact,” she said.

“The 2 Johnnies may feel it is hilarious to refer to women as ‘sl*ts’ on their show, but women and girls routinely experience that word being roared at them in the street or directed at them on social media platforms – and it is not funny when it happens.

“Presenters on RTÉ should be calling out comments like these – not laughing along with them, and certainly not promoting them.”

In a statement, RTÉ told the Irish Independent: “In advance of The 2 Johnnies’ first show on 2FM, the two presenters were brought through RTÉ’s broadcast guidelines and social media policies.

"The tweet that was brought to our attention this afternoon had already been removed from The 2 Johnnies’ social-media account. RTÉ 2FM received no complaints.”

Mr McMahon and Mr O’Brien have a relationship with RTÉ that goes back several years. They have undertaken a number of TV projects for the station.

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