Trio behind Okletsgo podcast apologises for misogynistic comments
Hosts of local podcast Okletsgo apologise for misogynistic comments after they are criticised by President Halimah
The producers of local podcast Okletsgo have apologised for their sexist and misogynistic comments, just hours after President Halimah Yacob called on them to do so.
The three hosts, Dzar Ismail, Dyn Norahim and Raja Razie, had earlier created an uproar with their on-air remarks like "I cannot take my eyes off your cleavage" and "I love young girls".
In a post on their Facebook pages yesterday, the three former DJs, who are in their 30s and married with children, said they had decided to post the public apology after some reflection, and that they were sorry to have taken "this long to realise the extent of hurt that we have caused".
The trio had initially defended the show, even after netizens criticised them for their remarks.
President Halimah and Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir subsequently spoke up about the incident.
In a Facebook post yesterday, President Halimah, who said that many people had e-mailed her with concerns about the values being promoted by the podcasts, wrote: "Women are not objects to be made fun of, ridiculed and trampled upon, and no one has the right to do that to them.
"Taking cheap potshots at women to boost ratings or to make some people laugh no matter how offensive, cannot be justified under any label, be it freedom of speech or encouraging conversations."
In their statement, the trio thanked President Halimah and "respected individuals/groups for amplifying the voices of those who have been hurting", and said they wanted to "sincerely apologise to all our listeners whom we have hurt with our words and content".
Claiming that they "came from an industry that has peddled in these norms for a very long time, both on- and off-screen", they said they do not condone misogyny and would "tweak the approach" to their content.
The podcast, launched in February last year, has over 250 episodes with more than 100,000 listeners each episode.
The trio said their platform had evolved from entertainment to "maybe even educational" as they discussed controversial topics such as religion, sexuality, drugs and prison life.
The show's sponsors include Mendaki, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Foodpanda.
The food delivery company, which had collaborated with the Okletsgo podcast over the Ramadan fasting month, told The New Paper yesterday that it does not condone misogyny in any form.
"It had not been our intention to cause hurt and we have since requested for the sponsored content to be removed," the spokesman added.
She said the company will be re-looking its considerations for future marketing partnerships to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
HPB, which had engaged Okletsgo for a one-off project last month on keeping healthy during the Ramadan and Hari Raya period, told TNP: "We believe in the need to be responsible and sensitive when putting out these messages, and will continue to carry out our efforts with sensitivity and care."
The Association of Women for Action and Research said in a Facebook post yesterday: "Talking on air about your favourite female body parts, vis-à-vis sexual positions, is textbook sexual objectification."
The controversial comments were made in a podcast earlier this month, when Okletsgo featured transgender activist Sherry Sherqueshaa.