Multichoice distances itself from homophobic comments made on Phat Joe’s new show

A screenshot from 1Magic's show Cheeky Palate, hosted by Phat Joe | Picture: Screenshot

Uproar as show’s guest uses her understanding of the Bible to declare homosexuality as something unsavoury.

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.

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.

“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.

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).

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.

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.”

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