The Ancient Order of Hibernians condemns the commissioning of a new comedy series by Channel 4 Television Corporation entitled “Hungry” based on the events of Ireland’s “Great Hunger” also known as the Famine. The Ancient Order of Hibernians finds outrageous that an event in which, at minimum, one million Irish people died and another million were forced to emigrate should be considered by TV Channel 4 and writer Hugh Travers as a fit basis for a comedy series.
Per AOH National Anti-Defamation Chairman Neil Cosgrove:
“We sadly live in an age where outrageousness and insensitivity are now passed off as ‘creativity.’ That anyone would think the mass death of a million men, women and children through starvation and the disease that accompanies it is a fit subject for comedy is abhorrent. In attempting to justify this insensitive abomination, the show’s writer Mr. Hugh Travers is quoted as asserting that ‘comedy equals tragedy plus time’. The Ancient Order of Hibernians rejects Mr. Travers’ premise; there are some events which are so tragic, which embody so much human suffering, that the passage of eons could not render them ‘funny’. No passage of time would justify a burlesque rendition of the events of the Holocaust, of African Slavery or Ireland’s Great Hunger. Unlike Mr. Travers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians does not subscribe to the belief that compassion, sensitivity and respect for the victims of man’s inhumanity to man have a statute of limitations. It is particularly tragic to see the victims of the Great Hunger whose deaths were the direct result of the indifference, prejudice and greed fostered by a foreign imperial government now have their memory and suffering defamed by these very same forces at work in Channel 4 Television Corporation’s quest for ratings and publicity at any price”
The Ancient Order of Hibernians calls upon Channel 4 Television Corporation to immediately cancel this abhorrent and ill-considered program and in conjunction with Mr. Travers to immediately issue an apology to the worldwide Irish community.