Satire wasted on BCCSA, Vlismas ruling shows
Right on the heels of a judgement that would potentially complicate South Africa’s television content rating system by adding additional warnings to shows containing strong language (traditionally and recognisably marked with an L), the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has now taken up the mighty task of establishing the “bounds of humour” in a ruling that effectively finds stand-up comedian John Vlismas guilty of hate speech.
The sketch, broadcast on 16 August 2010, played on East Coast Radio. Vlismas gives a mock sermon in which he jokes that it’s no use killing Hindus because they just come back, thanks to their belief in reincarnation (complainants submitted that Vlismas suggested that, as such bullets, would be wasted on Hindus).
The Tribune Herald, whose journalists listened to a recording of the show, also reports that the “preacher character [created by Vlismas] says that Hindus have ‘lots of gods’ and that ‘they can’t make up their minds’ and then lists the ‘elephant body one, ‘one with eight hands’ and the ‘the monkey one’. After saying that Hindus worship cows, he says, ‘How can you tell a cow, hello God?'”
East Coast Radio pulled Vlismas’ show and issued an apology to listeners. Vlismas can still be heard on Jacaranda 94.2 on Mondays from 9pm to midnight.
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