15 December 2018 The Irish Film & Television Network
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Deirdre O'Kane's IFTA Opening Monologue - in Full
19 Feb 2018 :
Deirdre O'Kane on IFTA Red Carpet
Deirdre O'Kane's funny and powerful monologue at the IFTA Ceremony does not shy away from controversy.

Deirdre O'Kane delivered a super-charged opening monologue that had the IFTA Ceremony audience in stitches, which included President Michael D Higgins, Gabriel Byrne, Minister Madigan, Minister Zappone, RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes and IFTA CEO Áine Moriarty.

Deirdre got straight to the heart of gender equality and said the Irish Film Board is aiming for 50/50 gender parity. “We know that the men will be 50... but the women will still be in their 20s… and Naked!”

She applauded the men in the room for choosing to wear black in solidarity and said that in fairness, the black does cover a multitude of sins saying “Jaysus lads, the clergy got some things right”.

She pointed to the fact that Daniel Day-Lewis has famously announced this would be his final film and then said that “A lot of men have made their final film this year, they just don’t know it yet”, she said “They're dropping like flies. At this rate, there’ll only be three nominated for Best Actor next year, and two of them might be Christopher Plummer.”

Getting straight to the heart of the #TIMESUP campaign Deirdre said “Some men are very concerned that there’s a bit of a "witch hunt" going on, and we should be aware that there are different scales of abuse”.   She said “Of course we know that there are different scales of abuse, like there are different scales of pay”.

When praising Gabriel Byrne for his lifetime Achievement award, Deirdre cheekily said “Gabriel’s greatest achievement is that he is STILL the biggest ride in Ireland outside of Tayto Park. Hashtag, only I can say this stuff now”.

Deirdre jokingly said there’s a big difference between a male and female IFTA winner saying that “Tom Vaughan Lawlor gets to go to LA to shoot a Marvel blockbuster with a Hemsworth brother and an Olsen sister, while I get to go to Bray to dance with Nathan Carter’s brother and Conor McGregor’s sister!"

On a more serious note, Deirdre said she decided to wear black not just in solidarity with the #TIMESUP movement but to honour the legendary Irish actress Maureen O'Hara, who received the IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. She said "Maureen had the talent, the smarts and the tenacity to make it", but "she encountered harassment on a daily basis as she just tried to do her job".  "It’s got so bad... I hate to come to work in the morning… because I don’t allow the producers and directors to kiss and paw me, I am a helpless victim of a Hollywood whispering campaign… If that is their idea of being a woman, I am ready to quit Hollywood now."

Deirdre reminded people that Maureen’s interview was given 73 years ago and that Maureen O’Hara didn’t live to see the movement we are all involved in today. She spoke fearlessly and her words were dismissed. “After three-quarters-of-a-century... Time is definitely up!”

Aine Moriarty, CEO of the Irish Academy said "We're so proud of Deirdre O'Kane. This is her third year hosting the show - and what a brilliant artist with a powerful work ethic, from scriptwriting sessions and rehearsals for IFTA, to daily rehearsals for #DWTSIrl, Deirdre O'Kane is a true legend.  Text Deirdre to 53125 !"

See Deirdre's Full Opening Monologue on IFTA facebook – www.facebook.com/iftaonline

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