DJ under fire over ‘sexist’ remark

2011-09-13 00:00

ANOTHER radio jock is in hot water. A KZN Democratic Alliance councillor, Tex Collins, has reported Gareth Cliff to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) after the 5fm jockey made a “sexist slur” about young women.

Collins laid the complaint on Friday, after a show on Thursday in which Cliff interviewed Angela Larkan who, aged just 19, established a non-profit organisation, the Thanda Project, in rural KZN that provides basic needs to Aids orphans.

Cliff opened the interview by saying that “girls of 22 usually do nothing but lie on their backs with their legs open”.

Collins said he could not understand “what would possess a man with such a big audience to say such a thing”.

“He has a low regard for women and on what basis can he substantiate his utterances?” asked Collins, who complained in his private capacity.

Yesterday morning Cliff said it appears a “male minor politician” took offence on behalf of all the world’s “virgin youth” and decided to lay a complaint with the BCCSA, as is his right.

He has admitted to the “sexist” comment, but defends it by saying it was hyperbole and not intended to offend.

“I accept that some sensitive people may have felt the comment , but who (unless they were described by it) would consider themselves so described if there were no truth to the insult?”

Collins disagrees. “Gareth’s comment is in the same league as Darren Scott [who used the k-word to a colleague at a social gathering]. Though it is directed at one person or a select few it is still directed at all women. He needs to apologise,” said Collins.

Cliff replied: “I refute the allegation and consider it insulting in turn to be called sexist.”

Rosemary Wright said on Facebook, “Is Gareth talking from experience? A comment like that is pushing it.”

Geshy Reddy said, “ He was referring to those who do! Not applicable to those who don’t. Remember dj’s frequent club scenes etc so he is more likely to come across 22-year-olds who do that. Why is everyone so uptight, we know what he meant! It’s refreshing to have a tell-it-like-it-is DJ!”

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