Production house Connect TV came under fire on Sunday evening after a clip from an episode of new show, Cheeky Palate, hosted by Phat Joe was shared on Twitter.
It gets hot in the kitchen & on the table.
Premieres 7pm, 9th Oct. on @1MagicTV
— Basetsana Kumalo (@basetsanakumalo) October 7, 2020
In the clip, Phat Joe (real name Majota Kambule) can be seen seated at a dinner table with four dinner guests. One of his guests, pastor and former beauty queen Gerri Elsdon (nee Rantseli) can be heard trying to explain her interpretation of the Bible and how this shapes her opinion of homosexuality.
Explain to me. pic.twitter.com/FPugNyUjeA
— ????????????????????❤️ (@LumkoJohnson) October 11, 2020
“It is in the Bible, the word of God is very specific…. And I know people begin to argue about ‘is whether the Bible is the word of God or ancient scriptures…’ The reality of the word of God is that it has been proved and approved and researched and approved as ancient scripture and disapproved by many over many centuries. People love to disapprove the word of God. The bottom line is that the word of God is very clear that homosexuality is a sin,” said Elsdon as she struggles to get her point across.
“Having said that, the first commandment is to love. What does love mean? It means to be sensitive, it means to be charitable, it means to be compassionate. It means to care. And in that vein, it wouldn’t matter who you are. Homosexual or not, there is always a place at the cross for you.”
She concluded by stating: “What the word says is that we need to live our lives in right-standing with God.”
Her comments were not received well by South Africa’s LGBTIQ+ community.
Your brand ambassador, Gerry Rantseli refers to scripture that incites homophobic violence against gay people. Please confirm whether this aligns with your values as a South African brand. @Brand_SA https://t.co/mconcWvmPA
— Oshun of Evangelista (@__MJDr) October 12, 2020
— YouTube: Moe Suttle (@moesuttle) October 12, 2020
The episode actually opens with a disclaimer that the opinions shared are those of the guests and not that of production and channel. However, this may not be enough to protect the channel and production house as many have resolved to report them to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA).
Thank you so much for your suggestions, I have edited the template. Please let me know if I should make further changes. I will send it in the morning. https://t.co/DW23IyqrPe pic.twitter.com/YabvmzcPsM
— Oshun of Evangelista (@__MJDr) October 11, 2020
Good morning ❤️. Don’t forget to email BCCSA
— Eddie McWaben ????️???????? (@_Bongani_Eddie) October 12, 2020
please don’t copy and paste because the complaint won’t be attended to, tsaya mole le mole on the template and add in your own words.
please also note that the episode aired on the 9th at 7pm https://t.co/lR0eWUi6EP
— ???? (@Tya_Matsime_) October 12, 2020
“We have noted your complaint which is unfortunately not specific enough to accept.”
— I hate men (@mrs_makgoba) October 12, 2020
The BCCSA basically said “la rasa, go tsena fela 1, the rest, system se offline” ????
— Otsile (@OtsileSimelela) October 12, 2020
In addition to the disclaimer at the beginning of the show, Phat Joe, in his intro warns viewers to “strap on their seatbelts tight” as he might be cancelled after the show before leading into intros for who the evening’s guests are.
Along with Elsdon, Phat Joe (and the producers) invited musician Zwai Bala, sangoma Gogo Dineo Ndlanzi, motivational speaker and preacher Bishop Joshua Maponga and author Nobuntu Webster.
Despite spirituality being billed as the premise for the evening’s chat, Phat Joe immediately jumped on to the topic of homosexuality, pegging his conversation on the back of some comments once made by Maponga which reportedly got him in trouble.
Gogo Dineo then interrupts to register her confusion about the segue between the two topics before Phat Joe insisting on continuing the conversation.
Maponga then dug his heels in about his comments, which led to Elsdon’s comments.
Elsdon was not the only guest viewers had a problem with. Due to alleged reports about how he has treated his brother Phelo Bala in the past, members of the LGBTIQ+ community were not happy to see Bala getting a platform to discuss homosexuality.
They had Zwai Bala on that table talking about homosexuality? The very same Zwai Bala who has beat up his younger brother numerous times because he is gay? @basetsanakumalo are you okay? Surely there are better ways to get us watch your shows, but this is downright PATHETIC
— YouTube: Moe Suttle (@moesuttle) October 12, 2020
Before the conversation on spirituality could reach any kind of climax and conclusion, the conversation then abruptly turned into a conversation about African spirituality vs Christianity.
The Citizen reached out to Connect TV and M-Net for comment and a MultiChoice spokesperson had this to say:
“Cheeky Palate is a new reality show on 1Magic hosted by Phat Joe, in which participants are encouraged to express their views on a variety of topical matters. The first episode featured guests from different walks of life, who were invited to speak to their experiences and thoughts on spirituality.”
“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. The views expressed are not those of MultiChoice which embraces diversity, equality and inclusion.”