East Coast Radio Breakfast Show hosts Darren Maule and Keri Miller. Picture via Keri Miller on Facebook.
Durban - East Coast Radio (ECR) Breakfast show host Darren Maule caused widespread outrage on Tuesday morning when he repeatedly made offensive comments about co-host Keri Miller, leading her to walk out during the show.

On Tuesday, programming manager Zane Derbyshire said Maule had apologised to Miller for his comments and Miller in turn apologised to Maule for her remarks made off-air during the show.

It is understood that Maule had made derogatory comments about Miller’s body and Miller had asked him to stop. When he did not she reportedly walked out during the show.

After reviewing the audio, Derbyshire said that nothing was found to compromise the station.

“We will be doing some relationship and team development work with them, to facilitate a harmonious environment for them to do their show.

“There will be no warning for Darren,” he said.

However, listeners had a different view and expressed their outrage on social media.

@MamoyoBlessed said: “I stand with @kerimiller. It’s really not fair to constantly be put down and then have your feelings dismissed as mood swings all the time! I hope East Coast does something to change this workplace setting as it sets a precedent. Keri Power to you!!!”

While @TerryMunsamy said: “@kerimiller you tell those boys, enough is enough. The listeners hear the sexism too, disguised as ‘playful banter'.’’

Janine Hicks, lecturer and gender equality specialist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Law, praised Miller for taking action by walking off set and raising the debate.

“Incidents like these create opportunities to create awareness. Women, for fear of losing their jobs or making a fuss, keep quiet,” she said.

She said in the South African legal framework that provision has been made to address sexual harassment and objectification in the workplace.

“The very fact that she asked him to stop and he didn’t is sexual harassment which can be taken to the CCMA or Centre for Gender Equality to intervene.”

Hicks said people in positions of power can use bullying behaviour to exploit junior staff, which stems from patriarchy and the perception of men and women’s roles in the workplace.

“Employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment, free from harassment and discrimination,” she said.

Derbyshire said the station’s breakfast show was expected to continue as normal today.

Meanwhile, Wednesday marked the second anniversary since Miller joined Maule and Sky Tshabalala on the show.

"HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BOYS. East Coast Breakfast. It was today 2 years ago I joined Darren Maule and Sky Tshabalala in my pjs... There've been ups and.... um, downs haha, but I'm really glad we're still here together. Love you both. Here's to another 2 years," posted Keri on Facebook.


The Mercury