As BCCSA confirms complaints, Phat Joe moves on to gay adoption

Despite numerous complaints being lodged with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA), the next episode of Phat Joe’s Cheeky Palate reality show will look at gay adoption.

The controversial first episode, which was broadcast last week on DSTV’s 1Magic channel, saw a group of celebrities join the host for dinner to debate the subject of spirituality.

Two, Gerry Rantseli Elsdon and Joshua Maponga, went on to argue that homosexuality is sinful, without any LGBTIQ+ or alternatively-informed guest being included on the panel to respond to their biased opinions. This was especially insensitive in that the episode was broadcast during Pride month in South Africa.

According to the Sowetan, the BCCSA has received numerous complaints about the show of which it accepted eight as legitimate. In one, seen by MambaOnline, Cheeky Palate is accused of including “statements of hate speech against the LGBTIQ+ community” that “were factually incorrect, scientifically incorrect and unconstitutional.”

The complainant says that the views shared in the episode “reflected a far-right-wing Christian ideology” not embraced by all schools of Christian thought.

He also points out that Cheeky Palate features “a presenter [Phat Joe] with a history of suspensions for homophobic statements.” In 2019, Joe was suspended from his Radio 2000 show after he told listeners that he was “disgusted” when he was hit on by a man and that when “gays are flamboyant like women they are disgusting.”

The complaint goes on to state that because “this extended hate speech was broadcast pre-watershed, on a national platform and without any attempt to allow any kind of rebuttal or attempt to correct facts, warn viewers or accommodate a dissenting view [this] makes this a criminal act.”

The complainant further accuses the producers of “seeking to create controversial content through attacking the dignity and rights of LGBTIQ+ South Africans.”

That view appears to be bolstered by the fact that homosexuality is again brought up in the upcoming second episode of Cheeky Palate, which deals with adoption. In a preview posted on Twitter, a guest asks provocatively: “What is your view on homosexual adoptions?” The episode will be aired on Friday 16 October.

In a post on Instagram, Elsdon appeared to dismiss the criticism against her as not being of significance. “And then hubby said ‘Will you allow a loud minority to quieten a Child of The King of Kings?’ The answer Today and Always is a resounding NO!” she wrote.

The show’s executive producer Basetsana Kumalo, responded to Elsdon with support, commenting: “Your conviction is what sets you apart. Love you my friend.”

Benedict Maaga, spokesperson for MultiChoice, which owns DSTV, told Channel 24 that it distances itself from the show’s content but did not commit to taking any action and insisted that the guests reflected views from “different walks of life.”

“We acknowledge concerns expressed by some viewers who may have been offended by some of the views expressed on the show, particularly around the LGBTIQ+ community,” said Maaga. “The views expressed are not those of MultiChoice which embraces diversity, equality and inclusion.”

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