Gareth Cliff cleared of 'bitch' charge

2012-07-31 17:24
Johannesburg - The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has dismissed a complaint against controversial 5FM presenter Gareth Cliff for calling a woman a "bitch".

The word was used in a "playful and melodramatic manner", the BCCSA said in a ruling released on Tuesday.

Cliff, who hosts 5FM's Breakfast Show, addressed a female caller as "Dear Bitch" on 6 June, in an attempt to get her to call the station back. However, the woman, who was never named on the show, took offence and lodged a complaint with the commission.

She had called two days earlier to express her opinion about M-Net's Idols programme.

A 5FM representative argued that the woman's dignity had not been impaired as she was not identified.

He told a BCCSA tribunal the incident needed to be seen in the context of broadcasts over three days.

The woman's "aggressive and confrontational style" had resulted in Cliff referring to her as "Dear Bitch" in the same way one would refer to a person being "bitchy".

The woman said: "My complaint is against Gareth Cliff using such profane and unnecessary language, even not knowing the individual."

She argued that children listened to the morning show, and should not be exposed to such language.

While the complaint was not upheld, 5FM was cautioned that repetitive use of the word should be discouraged.


  • mknnko003 - 2012-07-31 17:35

    Money turns people to be arrogant...why would he even use profanity as a Radio Presenter? I like Gareth but I think he was wrong to use it and the should have dealt with him!

      wesleywt - 2012-07-31 17:43

      Oh please grow up.

      marnusmnorval - 2012-07-31 18:25

      U JELLY BRO??

      mknnko003 - 2012-07-31 18:26

      You are the one who need to grow up. Just because you have money and you can afford to pay an Attorney does not make you great! He should have apologized then we can move on!

      wesleywt - 2012-07-31 18:48

      The lawyers are from 5FM. Maybe you can learn to read at big girl school.

      Castiel - 2012-08-01 07:40

      Fascinating that they swear freely in movies these days, but still no swearing on radio? hmmm.

      itumeleng.mogaki - 2012-08-01 07:52

      He's got nine BCCSA lives, I like, Gareth is boss.

      mknnko003 - 2012-08-01 12:51

      We all love Gareth but I cannot justify what he did as a right thing. What he did was immature d, if he called someone a Bi*** in a night club nobody will care but not in a public domain.

      mmredlana - 2012-08-02 02:04

      ha ha ha ha! Really?

  • jonathancfarrell - 2012-07-31 17:37

    Draaaaama Queen

  • stfrancisbay - 2012-07-31 17:40

    Nice to see 1st world issues for a change

  • Dakey - 2012-07-31 17:47

    Cliff is a tosser. He's the #1 reason I don't even listen to 5fm or watch idols.

      andre.pretorius.1297 - 2012-07-31 18:15

      Feel much the same, hate the sight of him!!!

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-07-31 18:28

      Are you two for real... don't listen to him... don't watch him... hate the sight of him... but certainly read every article about him & feel the need to comment on it for good measure too? Freaking closet G.C. fans for sure!

      allison.steedman - 2012-08-01 09:21

      tell someone who cares. I am sure Gareth is not losing sleep over your refusal to listen to him / watch him. Hatred is a totally wasted emotion - haters only hurt themselves with poison and negativity, while the intended victim continues life as always, not giving a cr@p about you - who is the idiot?

      hosia.modiga - 2012-08-02 15:16

      haaaayi suka man you all jealous!!!

      Dakey - 2012-08-03 08:41

      @omnom: 'but certainly read every article about him & feel the need to comment on it for good measure too?' By that rationale I must also be a Malema fan. At least Malema didn't ruin my morning drive radio station.

  • george.frangs - 2012-07-31 18:11

    Really!?? Your biggest worry you have is that your children hear the word bitch!?? REALLY??? By that logic, they should stop listening to all the hate and death on the news, and stop watching tv altogether. Maybe you should just bury there heads in the sand and leave them... It's the year 2012, time to accept that the world has changed and grow up!

      anne.erasmus - 2012-08-01 09:16

      Add to your list - not attend a school anywhere - these mums who think their little darlings don't swear are very confused. My kids learnt their first swear words at school - from their friends. Wrap them in cottonwool and keep them home - and what exactly do these people call a female dog?

  • charmaine.paterson1 - 2012-07-31 18:11

    People know by now Gareth Cliff is outspoken and controversial and an atheist, etc. Why listen or let your children listen if you are easily offended? Switch off or change stations. I like his radio show and don't watch Idols, as simple as that.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-08-01 10:00

      Very good point! I have not had the displeasure of hearing his voice and idiotic drivel for about 4 years now. Tune out...

  • stephan.wolhuter - 2012-07-31 18:25

    And now everyone knows she's a bitch.

  • Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-07-31 18:31

    Do not put all woman in the same category. I am a woman too, do not particularly like GC, but really 'bitch'. is a comon word used quite openly. GROW UP Bitch!

  • RAhul - 2012-07-31 19:24

    Love how people here will complain...but I GUARANTEE you that half these people LOVE the trash that people like lil wayne and co "spit". Please don't be such blatant hypocrites. You can go and join you're buddies in parliament if you wanna act like children.

  • rickvcooper - 2012-07-31 20:02

    Laid a complaint with the BCCSA? - what a bitch.

  • skhona.luswazi - 2012-07-31 20:38

    Most of you are talking trash over here,so do me this favor get your bitch asses out here Na I'm sayin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lester.nel - 2012-07-31 21:56

    she does sound like one!

  • sasha.lewis.1029 - 2012-07-31 22:55

    I don't know about the rest of you but I like a little rawness in the mornings, some reality and especially someone who does not put everything he or she says through a filter of public acceptance. "aggressive and confrontational style" - well I don't know what she called in about but, if you are going to be like that to me, I'm going to deal some of your own medicine straight back at you. Treat those around you as you would like to be treated yourself. If one looks at this carefully there is a lesson that can be learned or taught here. I salute you Gareth for saying what you feel and not what is publicly acceptable. Whether you are right or wrong, it does not matter. I think there are too many of us that are fake in this way, we just go with the accepted norm. I have the same weakness, just say some thing that is easy, accepted and above all else politically correct. Frack that I say! Why should we all be the same and of the same opinion? Say what you feel is right to YOU, not what is expected of you. Be a true individual. Be true to yourself. The herd is big enough without you.

  • hallo.daar.56 - 2012-07-31 23:04

    Jersey Shore BITCH!

  • patricia.spooner.1 - 2012-08-01 07:15

    So that means that playfully calling Gareth a douche bag is ok?

  • TdJ01 - 2012-08-01 08:11

    if the shoe fits.....

  • bmaestro - 2012-08-01 09:00

    this cliff guy needs to buy a zipper for his uncultured mouth.

      marnusmnorval - 2012-08-01 19:32

      Bright you are not so bright

  • kholofelo.madiba.7 - 2012-08-01 09:49

    there are things that rid someone's can you call someone a "bitch" you sound uneducated,and that absurd of you!!!

      duanne.dames - 2012-08-01 10:51

      Criticize someone else of being uneducated yet your grammar is criminal. I heard both the women that called in on those consecutive days - they were both rude and vulgar to the point of lunacy; literally screaming in rage over the radio. GC is not without fault, but in this case he was a better man than I, for I would have foregone "bitch" and headed straight for the c-word.

  • Kelly - 2012-08-01 14:32

    You took the words right out of my mouth Dakeyras.. You see 5fm ( sabc ) are so hard up, coz no top pro wants to work for them, coz they don't trend the market, and idols, yawn sorry did you say idols!!

  • megan.lona.seymore - 2012-08-01 14:39

    Has anyone ever heard of "humour"? Those three days were the best three days driving to work ever! Classic! And then she complains to the BCCSA... point proven!

  • greggstirton - 2012-08-01 14:42

    She argues that kids listen to the radio in the morning and will hear the word 'bitch'.. really? Have you every listened to the news where they tell tales of people jumping in front of trains with their children, suicide bombers, murders, rapes, babies found in toilets etc etc etc? I hardly think kids haven't heard the word 'bitch' before, it's tame in comparison to what the youngsters hear at schools these days.

  • Carlo Gieljoumie - 2012-08-01 20:53

    Well they say even bad publicity is good Gareth and Malema has one thing in common

  • lizldp - 2012-08-02 14:05

    People are just too sensitive these days... There are way more important things to worry about in life than someone calling you a bitch... Grow a pair!

  • - 2012-08-03 09:46

    As much as i lyk your show GC, u r wrong using such words on Radio wher everyone can hear, to me it shows u were angry that she is agressive, u should have just cut her off thats educated man, Remember if u argue with a fool, ull be lyk one too

  • melanie.pienaar.92 - 2012-08-03 11:31

    A lot of woman refer to themselves as Bitches and are really proud of it! Who cares! A person can't say bitch on the radio, but it's fine for a sexy durex add to be aired during family viewing time. So silly.....

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