President of Singapore, Halimah Yacob, urged podcast channel OKLETSGO to apologize to all women for the “humiliating and misogynistic remarks made on its podcasts, saying that it was not alright for women to be treated like “punching bags”, CNA reported.
“Women are not objects to be made fun of, ridiculed and trampled upon, and no one has the right to do that to them. Women have the right to be respected, valued for their contributions in the family and in our society,” Mdm Halimah wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.
According to CNA, Mdm Halimah said that many people had emailed her with concerns about the values that the podcasts promote, and added that those who perpetuate the image of women being inferior should “be held responsible for being one of the perpetrators of violence against women.”
Mdm Halimah said: “The Podcast OKLETSGO should sincerely and humbly apologize to all women for their offensive, humiliating and mysogynistic remarks on their podcasts about women.”
The hosts, Dyn Norahim, Dzar Ismail, and Raja Razie, posted Episode 568 on Spotify. The description of the episode says: “To whomever it may concern, this is for you”. It is a short episode.
Coconuts Singapore reported that the hosts “did not apologize, and said the show’s language was part of their “flavor”.
“Let me just put things into perspective. Number one, I think people forget we are not mainstream media. I just want to reiterate that we are not mainstream media,” Dzar Ismail said.
“We acknowledge that the language we use is out of the ordinary but this in truth and in fact is consistent with our flavor,” Dzar said today. “This is our flavor, which we in time and time again have reiterated in this podcast hosted by three men which technically amplifies what we have heard outside our interpretation of what people are outside.”
He said their words should not be taken seriously.
“And I believe it is with this concept that has gravitated so many listeners to come and listen. I don’t believe we would get these listeners if the concept was different, something kosher, but that being said I’d like to remind all of you that we are not mainstream it is meant to push boundaries and it’s not meant to be taken seriously, you get where I’m coming from? It’s not meant to be taken seriously.”
Coconuts Singapore later reported that the OKLETSGO hosts have issued a public apology in response to backlash over its use of crude language, hours after Singapore President Halimah Yacob called on them to do so.
On June 14, 2020, the OKLETSGO Facebook account posted an apology. The first part of it says:
“We woke up this morning to see the message from our President, Halimah Yacob, calling for us to apologize. Many others have also reached out to us expressing their concerns about our content.”
“We reflected on this more, and we are truly sorry it took us this long to realize the extent of hurt that we have caused. Thank you, Madam President and respected individuals/groups for amplifying the voices of those who have been hurting, and we take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to all our listeners who we have hurt with our words and content…”