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5FM's Gareth Cliff is Sexist

This petition had 236 supporters


In an interview with a young AIDS activist, Angela Larkan, breakfast show DJ Gareth Cliff suggested that Larkan should be particularly proud of having begun her philanthropic work at the age of 22, since most 22-year-olds “do nothing but lie on their backs with their legs open”.

After complaints were filed with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), Cliff defended these overtly offensive statements by saying:

“I accept that some sensitive people may have felt the comment offensive, but who (unless they were described by it) would consider themselves so described if there were no truth to the insult?”, and “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.”

Cliff is very clearly unaware of the danger of such sweeping statements about femininity, which rely on hackneyed old definitions of "kinds of girls" in a society in which violence and discrimination against women is rife. Public figures with the kind of sway and popularity Cliff commands have a responsibility to avoid the unnecessary reiteration of unfair gender stereotypes that justify and reproduce dangerous and harmful social beliefs and behaviours in society.

A person who holds such dangerous views, and continues to defend them even when the problematic nature of these views are brought to his attention, is clearly unfit to hold a position which allows access to such a far-reaching public platform as the listenership of 5fm.

Sign this petition if you share the view that 5fm would be acting in an immensely socially irresponsible way to allow Cliff to continue at the station. Allowing Cliff to continue unchecked would indicate an endorsement of these views by 5fm, and see 5fm becoming guilty by association of dangerous and reactionary sexism. Add your name to this petition if you believe that we are right to demand Cliff's resignation from the station, in the name of fair treatment of women across the country.

[NB. Since Cliff believes these objections have been raised "spuriously", by "minor politicians", let it be noted that the initiator of this petition is a gender activist with no political affiliations whatsoever.]



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