Reverend loses war with SABC over 'misogynist' advert

A reverend has come off second best in a scrap with the SABC over a humorous “pay your TV licence” advert that he claimed had portrayed women as gold diggers.

Reverend Martin Badenhorst was so irate about the advertisement‚ aired in Afrikaans on Radio Sonder Grense‚ that he lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority.

In the sound clip‚ medical equipment can be heard beeping in the background as a male speaks: “There is one worker who works harder than all the others” in a hospital. Harder than a delivery nurse nine months after Valentine’s Day‚ harder than a plastic surgeon before bikini season‚ harder than a hospital manager working on his golf swing and harder than a young nurse relentlessly flirting with a doctor.

Then the identity of the worker is revealed – it’s the hospital television set. “Pay your business TV licence. TV licences‚ pay yours. Make a difference‚” says the voice.

Badenhorst complained that it was sexist in that it portrayed women as gold-diggers and perpetrators of fraud‚ illustrating deep seated misogyny within the state broadcaster.

Not true‚ argued the SABC before the advertising watchdog. The clip was one of three adverts that creatively portrayed how a “hero” television set worked tirelessly to bring entertainment to all licensed viewers.

“It does not aim to negatively portray any gender or profession‚ and was purely done in an entertaining and 'humouristic' manner to make it more relevant and entertaining to ordinary South Africans‚” the SABC argued.

The reverend lost his case‚ with the ASA ruling that the advert was obviously exaggerated in order to bring a point across in a very sarcastic manner.

SABC group COO‚ Hlaudi Motseneng‚ was said to promote sexist and patriarchal assumptions when in 2014‚ he assumed that a bride was being offered to him during a welcoming ceremony - which turned out not be the case. The woman was in fact engaged and felt upset that Motseneng thought otherwise.

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