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Broadcaster guilty of sexist comments

2011-04-21 12:49
Johannesburg - The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) has found Cape Town-based radio station Heart 104.9FM guilty of making sexist comments during family listening time and contravening the broadcasting code of conduct.

On January 5, sports presenter Lunga Singama made the comments while praising Proteas cricket player Jacques Kallis's performance, BCCSA deputy chairman professor Henning Viljoen said in a statement.

Singama reportedly said: "If tonight you're about to consummate your marriage on your honeymoon and Jacques Kallis wants first dibs, you should stand aside and let him have your wife".

A radio listener complained that the comments made by Singama were "highly offensive".

Several letters of complaint were sent to Heart 104.9FM's complaints department but there was no response.

Senseless and sexist

The complainant said: "I think this sort of thinking is not only senseless and sexist but that it is dangerous to encourage this attitude towards women in a context in SA where women are so often disregarded as sexual objects and abused.

"I would like to see a public apology issued and a discussion on air about why we need better male role models and more responsible thinking in SA."

In its response Heart 104.9FM said the comments were not sexist and the broadcast was after 6.30pm when large numbers of children were not listening. The show was also promoted at adults ages 25 to 49.


"In synopsis this broadcast was clearly exaggerated comment meant to provoke an exaggerated sense of appreciation of Jacques Kallis's sporting feat. We believe that any reasonable audience member would understand this commentary as exaggerated comedic styled expression," it said.

Viljoen said that although the radio station was found guilty the BCCSA had decided not to fine it.

"....[It] remains the responsibility of the broadcaster not to promote sexual attitudes that are harmful to society. We trust that a reprimand will bring home this message," he said.

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