Gareth Cliff cleared of sexism charge

2011-11-04 12:25
Johannesburg - Radio DJ and Idols judge Gareth Cliff has been cleared of all charges of hate speech against him relating to comments he made on air, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) said on Friday.

According to complaints received by the BCCSA, on September 8 during the airing of the Gareth Cliff Show, Cliff interviewed Angela Larkan about her humanitarian activities. The woman, now 27 years old, had started her humanitarian programme when she was 22 years old.

During the on air discussion Cliff made mention of her very young age and remarked that to have started her programme at such an early age was commendable because as he stated "girls of 22 usually do nothing but lie on their backs with their legs open", according to the complaint made to the BCCSA.

BCCSA chairman Kobus van Rooyen said the reference to "girls" or "women" by the complainants was because of a misquote by newspapers.

"Whatever the presenter [Cliff] said, he did not make a sexist reference. One might infer that he referred to females since the person interviewed, Ms Larkan, is a female," said van Rooyen.

He said Cliff's comment that "most 22-year-olds are laying [sic] on their backs with their legs open at 22, or else they are drinking", was nothing more than an outrageous, probably ill-chosen, comparison.

Cliff, 5FM station manager Aisha Mohamed and a representative from the Broadcasting Compliance SABC Legal Services, Policy and Regulatory Affairs attended the BBCSA hearing on October 7.


"We are delighted with the BBCSA's ruling that Gareth's comments were not sexist," Mohamed said in a statement.

"In light of the fact that what Gareth said was in many cases taken out of context as well as misquoted, we feel that this is indeed a victory for free speech."

Cliff said the BCCSA's finding was an example of a complaint based on "hearsay and misquoting".

"Thank goodness for the BCCSA, they seem to agree with my response on, which I posted shortly after this storm in a teacup," he said.

In his official response on his website Cliff wrote that the "whole story is preposterous".

"It is spurious and seems a deliberate attempt by a minor politician and newspapers to make a mountain out of a molehill.

"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," he wrote.

"I refute the allegation and consider it insulting in turn to be called sexist."


  • Henry - 2011-11-04 12:54


      wesleywt - 2011-11-04 13:00

      You shouldn't call yourself names like that.

      etienne.human - 2011-11-04 13:07

      If that is all you have to say Henry, you are a sorry excuse for an educated human being. Revel in that my friend. If you had HALF the balls of Cliff, maybe you would have elaborated on this remark of yours ...

      Gungets - 2011-11-04 13:46

      I do hope that your thoughtful response did not stretch your intellect too much. It must be exhausting to have to think on a Friday. Take the rest of the day off.

      claudevn - 2011-11-04 13:46

      @etienne.human : I agree buddy! :) well said!

      Yusuf - 2011-11-04 14:56

      thank you etienne

  • henniedotvanstaden - 2011-11-04 13:11

    He would know, men lay on their backs for him and women are the drinkers, that is what he meant. I disagree with his statement that our youth of today has lose morals, it is he who befriends himself with such people.

      Blink - 2011-11-04 14:02

      Ag Hennie no one really cares what you think.

      brendan.beech - 2011-11-04 16:08


      Vincent - 2011-11-05 08:53

      @Blink Haha.

  • roberta.keeling - 2011-11-04 13:22

    How can you take that type of saying out of context? It's straightforward to me. I'm in my twenties, but I certainly don 't lie on my back all day with my legs open - I have more intersting things to do! But then again, coming from Cliff, one could expect such a brainless comment!

      brendan.beech - 2011-11-04 13:38

      yeah? i notice your profile pic on facebook displays a photo of a topless woman in the background… you sure about that? really? silly girl

      Byron - 2011-11-04 13:50

      lol, Dont forget the painted on t-shirt brendan

      leonard.hagger - 2011-11-04 13:51

      The point being made here is that he didn't say that about girls specifically. He said it about both boys and girls. Therefore it is not a sexist comment. It can still be taken as offensive but that's not in question here.

      Lauren - 2011-11-04 13:52

      And, of course, from that one little picture you can make an accurate judgment of her character, Brendan? How juvenile.

      ipeiser - 2011-11-04 14:00

      With the letters '69' painted on Byron

      brendan.beech - 2011-11-04 14:08

      @Lauren – you must be as dof as roberta is, my little chicken

      brendan.beech - 2011-11-04 14:32

      google "als scan" - the name of the website that roberta stole her picture from… or go to, the website that's on her profile photo… or, roberta darling, if this is really a photo of YOU, then i need say no more indeed silly slag

      brendan.beech - 2011-11-04 14:33

      @Lauren, so in answer to your question: YES! i think i can make a pretty accurate judgement of her form her photo… thanks for asking

      Yusuf - 2011-11-04 15:17

      i agree with you only lay with your legs open for half a day

      Marion - 2011-11-04 15:29

      @brendon... don't think you are immune from being prosecuted for slander just because you hang out behind your silly mask. There are ways and means of finding you - ever heard of an IP address? I think you owe Roberta an unqualified apology. Did your mother teach you to disrespect women in this way or is it just a natural reaction to all women based on your intimate knowledge of: a worthless, contemptible person a sexually promiscuous woman

      brendan.beech - 2011-11-04 16:04

      dear marion did you bother to follow those links? no, didn't think so… my mother did not teach me to respect women who either: a) post photos of themselves to pornographic websites or b) steal photos of other people from pornographic websites and use them as their own photos unqualified apology? bite me

  • Marion - 2011-11-04 14:59

    ... what part of 'laying with their legs open' don't I understand Gareth? Who lies with their legs open during sex? Most men? Come on, it was what it was and not what it is now made out to be. If you wanted to make a non-sexist comment you could have said 'are getting laid' which is common terminology. You are the one who opened the door for a sexism charge to be laid against you by introducing 'legs open' into the comment...

  • Preshen - 2011-11-04 16:17


      Yusuf - 2011-11-04 17:10

      whats wrong with your dickhead

  • John - 2011-11-04 16:59

    I don't thing Gareth Cliff is a racist, a sexist, an anti obesity campampaigner (well, maybe he is... a little bit) or anything of the sort. It is a fact that he is straight forward and that can be annoying to some people. If that's your case, tune into another channel for crying out loud. A while ago he made some remark that he doesn't like fat people. Well I'm truly not the slimmest of characters but as an educated grown up, I understand that this is not aimed at my person but rather blurted out in the context of whatever the issue was at the time. The comment of what 22 year old's "usually" do is simply a way of getting attention and should be regarded as a cool diversification of our otherwise rather Calvinistic broadcasting. THIS WAS A JOKE, NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS. Snap out of it.

  • Jaco - 2011-11-04 22:53

    The man's a dork, but you know what? He's on TV and radio and is in a possition to do what he does. Sometimes I hear his verbal diarieae(?) and just turn the channel. That's democracy in action...

  • Lawrence - 2011-11-05 01:04

    SA,if this is what is newsworthy in your country, SHAME!!! You are are well on your way to becoming the banana republic we all knew you would! (expat Paris)

      Yusuf - 2011-11-05 09:47

      you dont have news forums in paris?

  • Sandra - 2011-11-05 09:47

    No wonder cliff is still single! Theonly way he can get noticed is by saying stupid remarks! What a sad human being!

  • grieta.herbstmeyer - 2011-11-06 11:36

    AAAAAGGGGGG toggie. Los nou vir Cliff uit. Hoeveel van JULLE het nie al sulke rasistiese, seksistiese "AND WHATEVER" remarks gemaak dan dink julle, julle is CUTE nie. Get a grip on life bro & sista. Cliff, you are great

  • Michael - 2011-11-07 08:00

    Gareth Cliff has allways claimed to be an equal opportuntiy offender, claiming that he is happy to offend anyone. Only fair that he should be on the receiving end of what he so liberally dishes out.

  • pages:
  • 1