D Day for Gareth Cliff and M-Net

It’s D Day for former Idols judge Gareth Cliff as he appears in court with M-Net today, find out more on The Socialite…

Gareth Cliff is set to face M-Net, the broadcasting giant against whom he launched an urgent court application in an effort to be reinstated as a judge on ‘Idols’ earlier this month.

Cliff has described M-Net’s axing of him as a “knee-jerk” response and said that he found the decision to fire him “peculiar”, given the fact that two other judges has also been involved in a public race debate.

“The response by the first respondent [M-Net] in axing me was quite peculiar not only because of its inconsistency with how other judges had been dealt with, but also because M-Net itself had for many years been able to withstand criticism of racism and, more recently, gender discrimination due to either the low number of black winners and/or the total absence to date of a female winner.”

Although initially missing a deadline to respond to Cliff’s urgent application, M-Net hit back hard, saying that market research conducted showed that he was “poison” for the M-Net and Idols brand.

“If M-Net had permitted the 2016 season of Idols to continue with Gareth Cliff as judge and the threats and calls for a boycott had grown, it would have become even more problematic to address the situation at a later stage and the damage to the Idols and M-Net brands would already have occurred,” said M-Net CEO, Yolisa Phahle in responding court papers.

The media personality has asked that M-Net reinstate him as judge on Idols and should the judge not rule in his favour he has furthered his application to include that the Idols auditions be halted pending the R25m lawsuit.

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