Gareth Cliff on #Idolsgate: It wasn't my job
Johannesburg - Gareth Cliff on Sunday released a blog post offering some thoughts on his position on the Idols judging panel being revoked.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, M-Net released a statement saying he would no longer be part of the show after comments he made during the Penny Sparrow race debate.
At the time, highly placed sources within the Cliff camp told us that Gareth was considering all of his legal options. While M-Net insists that contract negotiations were still underway, insiders say that all agreements had been done via email, as was the case in every single previous season, and it was just a matter of having a contract signed.
Today, in a lengthy blog post, Gareth has offered some thoughts into the decision, ultimately hinting that M-net got caught in the frenzy, but either way, Idols is not his main priority.
Here are some extracts. But full the full post, here's a link to his Facebook page.
While we were sleeping#SparrowGate2How has your 2016 been so far? Sadly, in South Africa, instead of celebratory fireworks to launch the year, we have witnessed social media explosions on a monumental scale – many of which could have led to constructive engagement, but spiralled into witch hunts and lost opportunities.This weekend #SparrowGate very quickly escalated into #IdolsGate after M-Net made an announcement in the early hours of Saturday morning that I would no longer be part of the judging panel. This came after demands on Twitter to have me removed as well as Mzansi subscribers apparently threatening to boycott. Understandably, this is scary for a commercial entity.Like everyone else, it would seem that the M-Net executive (or whoever the powers may be) yielded in the middle of this frenzy. In my experience, it usually takes around seven days for these fires to burn out so the announcement managed to catch the tail end of this one. The M-Net PR machine may have been up at midnight crafting their announcement, but while I woke up to calls on Saturday morning from various newspapers for comment, I wasn’t going to let this eat into my weekend. I will reserve my right to respond at the appropriate time.
This is not about Idols or me. Idols is a reality TV talent show with good and bad singers to get ratings. I’ve been a judge for eleven seasons and I’ve loved the journey… but Idols has never been my job. It’s an extramural activity and anyone who listens to my show would know that I have felt my time was up a good couple of years ago. I may have played a role in finding talent, but not in developing it as far as this show goes – I just have to arrive, listen and comment. Then I go home. When it’s over, it’s over! It’s entertainment.
Where to next? Now fully unencumbered by any other master and solely an entrepreneur, I will continue to build the platform we launched in May 2014 – CliffCentral.com. This is about building a pre-eminent online content hub engaging in real conversations: about everything that happens in our world that we all experience every day – what makes us think… laugh… cry… inspires us and empowers us.