Complaint against Metro FM dismissed

2014-09-10 17:00

Johannesburg - A complaint that a Metro FM presenter promoted the use of dagga has been dismissed by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA).

"We do not believe that the presenter’s words went that far," the commission said in a ruling handed down on Monday.

The complainant submitted that Touch Down presenter TboTouch made "disturbing" remarks during an interview with US artist Wiz Khalifa on 4 July.

Touch asked Wiz what he was looking forward to in the country and his response was that he was looking forward to "the weed".

"Granted, Tbo had no control over that response, but he continued to entertain the artist regarding the weed, and he (TboTouch) went as far as saying that 'we grow the best in this country'," the complainant said.

"Furthermore, TboTouch told the artist that he once hosted Snoop Dogg [another artist from the US, also known as Snoop Lion and Snoopzilla] and supplied him with quality weed, and that when Wiz arrived, Tbo would be sure to get him some....

"And the final straw was when Tbo said to Wiz, if he was not able to entertain him when he arrives, he would go as far as sending him the weed at the airport."

The complainant said he had been travelling with his son at the time.

Cynical jest

"Considering that the kids at school have been reprimanded time and again about weed and drugs in general, yet we have radio jocks publicly promoting the stuff on a national broadcasters platform," he said.

The broadcaster said the comments by the presenter regarding the delivery of weed to the artist at the airport were made in jest.

"We concede that the way it might have come across to the listener was that he might actually do this, but he would surely not have run the risk of being arrested for an illegal activity by publicly announcing it to millions of listeners," it said.

"Although we believe that there has been no transgression of the code, the presenter will reaffirm on air his commitment to totally rejecting the use of weed or any other illicit drug and that he would never be party to delivering any such substance to anyone."

The BCCSA found it was cynical jest.

"Insofar as children are concerned, we do not believe that the narrative would have been understood as promoting anything which is prohibited by law," the BCCSA said.

"Children older than 12 are likely to have understood the tongue-in-cheek style of the presenter.
Children under 12 would, in general, not have taken an interest in the dialogue. It is in any case unlikely that they would have understood the presenter to promote the use of dagga."

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