Culture Minister says firing of RTVS host too strict

CULTURE Minister Marek Maďarič said he would have chosen a less severe punishment in the case of Kristína Kormúthová, former face of the public-service Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) sports desk, though he perceives her racism-tinged Facebook post that ultimately cost her job as unacceptable.

CULTURE Minister Marek Maďarič said he would have chosen a less severe punishment in the case of Kristína Kormúthová, former face of the public-service Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) sports desk, though he perceives her racism-tinged Facebook post that ultimately cost her job as unacceptable.

“If I were to make a decision on this one, I would choose a lesser sanction,” Maďarič said during the Question Time in parliament on May 29, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Kormúthová was sacked after she posted a controversial comment on her Facebook profile on May 16. She wrote that a man who, according to her, tried to steal the rain gutter from her house at night was “a prematurely born, stinky gypsy” and asked why “us hunters” cannot shoot such people like animals. She concluded, “And let anyone dare call me a racist!”

In his comments about what happened at the RTVS, Maďarič added that Kormúthová’s statement is unacceptable, whether it was made under the emotional strain or not, yet he would also take into consideration her prompt apology when deciding on the appropriate punishment.

“In this respect, it was extremely stern ... RTVS set the bar really high,” the minister said, as quoted by TASR.

The minister responded to the question of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MP Jozef Mikloško who pointed out that a number of people use rough and intolerant language on social networks and do not lose their jobs. This time it happened to the host, who acted under emotional strain, Mikloško said, as reported by TASR. He does not find Kormúthová’s Facebook post professional, yet he believes that summary dismissal was too harsh.

Maďarič said that Kormúthová was a public face of an institution with a certain status. Under RTVS statutes, its employees are required to avoid any stereotypes when referring to racial, ethnic, religious, sexual and other social groups.

RTVS did not comment on Maďarič’s statements.

“The case is closed for RTVS with terminating the cooperation with the presenter,” RTVS spokeswoman Dominika Šulková told the Sme daily.

Source: TASR, Sme

To read more about this story please see: RTVS sacks sports host over racist statements

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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