5FM’s DJ Gareth Cliff has been taken to task for allegedly making a sexist comment on air. Newspapers reported on Monday that the DJ was reported to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) by Tex Collins, a DA councillor in Durban. Collins reportedly heard Cliff interview Aids activist Angela Larkin – he had praised the 27-year-old for starting her work when she was 22, adding “girls of 22 usually do nothing but lie on their backs with their legs open’.
Collins was apparently “appalled’ by the remark, and called for the BCCSA to take action against him’. In his complaint to the BCCSA, Collins wrote: “I request that action be taken against him for his off-colour remarks’ It was added, “He sends out the message that every young girl does not have morals’.
Cliff commented on his website, “I refute the allegation and consider it insulting in turn to be called sexist. The reason I had Angela on my show is because she is precisely the opposite of the kind of girl I am alleged to have offended. It is unfortunate in the extreme that an interview about a terrific cause and effort by a philanthropist should be turned into a controversy about Gareth Cliff. This is a ruinous reflection of the depth to which public discourse has sunk. If my obviously outrageous and laughable comment makes more news than the good work of Angela Larkan, then sexism is the least of our concerns.’
The BCCSA has said the complaint would be investigated.