Jennifer Zamparelli scrapped plans to discuss face masks on her RTÉ 2FM show this morning – after receiving serious backlash online.
On Monday, the radio presenter said she would be hosting an “open discussion” about face coverings on Tuesday’s show.
Taking to Twitter, Jennifer asked those who are refusing to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic to get in touch.
However, inviting anti-maskers onto the programme caused uproar on social media, as many believe they shouldn’t be given a platform – given that mask wearing is mandatory, and has been proven to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
We are having an open discussion on my show on @RTE2fm tomorrow about face masks. Do you have strong opinions on wearing them or not wearing them ? I’d love to hear from you. Mail me [email protected]
— Jennifer Zamparelli (@JenniferMaguire) September 14, 2020
Anti-mask protests have gained huge criticism online, with many slamming the likes of Jim Corr for endangering the population by refusing to wear face coverings.
After Jennifer’s tweet started circulating online, Twitter users blasted the upcoming segment as “irresponsible” – with people comparing the discussion to other dangerous topics.
Let’s have an open discussion about feeding cigarettes to children. Sure why not…in the interests of “debate” and “balance.”
— Tom Lyons (@TomLyonsBiz) September 14, 2020
— JIM FITZPATRICK (@jimfitzpatrick) September 14, 2020
I really hope you reconsider. This is a spectacularly bad idea.
— Niall Murphy (@NiallXMurphy) September 14, 2020
This shouldn’t be an issue up for public discussion,our medical experts and WHO have asked public to wear masks to save lives,giving anti maskers a platform to spread their misinformation is just wrong,anti maskers go against all expert advice,sending a dangerous message
— Casso (@CassoJane) September 14, 2020
Responding to the backlash on Twitter last night, Jennifer defended her decision to go ahead with the segment on Tuesday’s episode.
However, as Jennifer kicked off her show this morning – she told listeners that they decided to scrap the item after an “emotional 24 hours”.
The radio host said in hindsight she would have worded the tweet “differently”, before adding: “I have to say, the attention of my tweet was very, very different to what was interpreted.”
Jennifer continued: “So I wanted your feelings towards what happened on the weekend, and your feelings about people who don’t wear face masks – that’s what I wanted.”
“But I used the word ‘discussion’, and using the word ‘discussion’ about face masks… people assumed I’d be giving a platform to anti-maskers, and they were very upset and they were very angry, and I really need to clarify what was planned for today.”
She explained: “So we had booked a guest, a great guest who was going to talk about the psychology of why, in the face of a global pandemic, people refuse to wear masks against all medical advice or compassion for those around them… these people still think they are above it.”
“Who are these people? And why do they think they don’t have to wear one? I wanted to understand them because I wear my mask, I’ve been wearing my mask since before they were mandatory, and businesses have closed and people have gotten sick and people have died and the scenes over the weekend absolutely horrified me.”
“So who the hell are these people? So I took to Twitter to ask what your thoughts were. Now unfortunately my tweet, I used the word ‘discussion’, and that set off a whole load of anger and hurt and I understand that, I do, but to be honest it really shocked me,” Jennifer said.”
“It shocked me as someone who has been wearing a face mask since before we really had to.”
“But I realise you can be misinterpreted on Twitter and you can mislead people, but that was not my intention, I have to say.”
“But from the tweeted responses, it is very clear that people do not want this conversation to happen, and this being a show for you and what you want to talk about and judging by the reaction, we will not be doing this item today.”
Jennifer added: “But what I will say is this, public health advice remains the same regarding face coverings, all members of the public should wear a face covering as it reduces the spread of coronavirus in the community.”
“It helps reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from people infected with coronavirus, this helps to stop people who are not aware they have the virus from spreading it.”
On this week’s episode of Goss Chats, Goss.ie CEO Ali Ryan chats with award-winning makeup artist and MRS Glam creator, Michelle Regazolli Stone.
The celebrity MUA opens up about the ups and downs of living through the pandemic, and how her makeup range saved her.
#GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic Haus of JeJuve.
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On this week’s episode of #GossChats @itsalirose chats with award-winning makeup artist and @mrsglambymichelle creator @mrsmakeup_ie The celebrity MUA opens up about the ups and downs of living through the pandemic and how her makeup range saved her. #GossChats is sponsored by @haus_of_jejuve