5 December 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Asking For It? Louise O'Neill Documentary Receives Huge Response
2016-11-02 18:10 : Laura Brennan
Irish Writer Louise O'Neill
The RTÉ Reality Bites creating an appetite for conversation.

“This documentary has started a conversation that needs to happen” Louise O’Neill  told IFTN as we spoke with her along with the Director Traolach Ó Buachalla this afternoon about the huge response generated by the one hour documentary which aired last night on RTÉ 2.

The Reality Bites Documentary Asking For It?  definitely appears to be filling the appetite out there amongst an Irish audience that’s welcoming an honest, open discussion about consent, its understanding within our society, it’s definition and how Irish people speak about it.

 “The response online has been extraordinary, said Louise O’Neill, when we spoke with her today. “And I’ve just heard that Sean Sherlock Labour TD has raised the statistics aired in the show in the Dáil today.”  

#Askingforit was trending last night on Twitter. The massive reaction online to the documentary is hugely eye-opening and as Director Traolach Ó Buachalla said,  “The Response on twitter last night was extraordinary, there was a real sense of people reacting to the documentary and  really  welcoming  and appreciating  the conversation  it was creating .”

Traolach  also spoke of how he felt that Midas Productions, the company behind last nights documentary were very lucky to have Louise as the presenter of the show because of the passion she has for the subject matter.

Midas Productions  first approached Louise off the back of her book ‘Asking For it?’ wondering if she would be interested in doing a documentary about consent. Her engagement with the topic really helped make this  an extremely informative hour of television that addressed one of the most pertinent issues in Ireland today. Examining our culture around sex and attitudes towards survivors of sexual violence.

Traolach said he was “ very proud that our national broadcaster RTÉ wanted to become a part of this conversation,” and he also said a huge amount of appreciation and respect had to be given to the team behind the documentary who all got so passionate about it, especially Producer Pamela Drynan “who spent a lot of time getting the Justice System to speak with us and allow us access to the courts, which was such an important visual aspect to include in the documentary, as it instilled a real sense of being able to connect with the reality of somebody having to go through the court system as a victim.”

The country's legal system and education around rape, all came under the microscope within the documentary, as the Irish writer Louise O’Neill explored and exposed the issue of consent and the rise in sexual assault in today's Ireland.

When IFTN asked  Louise why it was important to make a documentary like this, her response was the following list; Brock Turner, Stubenville, Listowel, NIamh Ní Dhomhnaill. Need I go on? These are just a few of the cases of sexual assaults that have been huge news stories, but there are thousands more that go unheard, unnoticed. We need to discuss these issues. And I think it’s great that Midas Productions saw how important this topic was, and that RTE decided to commission and show this documentary.”

Louise also spoke passionately concerning choice “We have choices here; to continue going on as we are, which is not adequately discussing issues of consent and sexual relations, and see the statistics that 4 in 10 Irish women will be the victims of sexual assault in their lifetimes; or change, change our outlooks towards our conversations about sex and sexuality, and to make consent a central part of that conversation.”

In this Reality Bites documentary, Louise really investigates where Ireland stands on this highly emotive topic, as she explores our attitudes towards sexual violence and related issues, such as casual sex and slut shaming.

Director  Traolach Ó Buachalla also mentioned that “being a part of this documentary offered a real sense of having the chance to make something compelling, educational and informative”.

Since the documentary aired last night there were many calls online for it to be screened in Schools as an educational tool regarding the discussion.

The Asking For It?: Reality Bites Documentary can viewed on the RTÉ player

Production Company: MIDAS PRODUCTIONS

Executives: Mike Keane & Stephen Smith

Producer: Pamela Drynan

Director: Traolach Ó Buachalla

Editor: Derek Pelly at Raygun.

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