Coast activist says Cliff row is an over-reaction

2011-09-14 00:00

ANGELA Larkan of Hibberdene says people are over-reacting to popular DJ Gareth Cliff’s comment that“girls of 22 usually do nothing but lie on their backs with their legs open”.

The 27-year-old Aids activist was responding to the controversy surrounding Cliff following his recent interview with her on 5FM.

“I didn’t take offence to what Gareth Cliff said,” said Larkan.

“I don’t think he meant to offend anyone. His intentions were completely misunderstood.”

Larkan said she thinks people have blown the issue out of proportion. “I ignored his comment and continued with the interview because the bigger issue for me is the poverty and Aids that is affecting our community.”

She finds it sad that people chose to see the comment as more interesting than the interview.

Cliff has dismissed complaints labelling him as a sexist, calling them “preposterous”.

“This whole story is preposterous. It is spurious and seems a deliberate attempt by a minor politician and newspapers to make a mountain out of a molehill,” Cliff wrote on his blog.

The Witness reported yesterday that Democratic Alliance councillor Tex Collins has reported Cliff to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA.

On his blog Cliff said he refuted the allegation and considered it insulting to be called a sexist.

Durban student and gender activist Sarah Dawson is petitioning 5FM to dismiss Cliff.

“In Gareth Cliff’s defence I don’t think he realised the impact his negative comment would make. He was paying a compliment to Angela Larkan, but everybody else is not Angela Larkan.,”

Dawson said the primary intent of the petition is for public figures to be more responsible with what they say.

“Yes, you have freedom of expression, but there are also responsibilities not to transgress those rights, especially on a national broadcaster. People like Gareth Cliff do need to fight for gender equality,” she added.

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