DJ Fresh and H20: For shame

Doug Liman’s Mr and Mrs Smith was a pretty awful movie. It was panned by critics as nothing more than a vehicle for its superstars, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who famously hooked up during/after its making. But one thing the director did get right is the tricky scenes where Jolie is having the crap beaten out of her.
It was something the script and storyline called for, but it was filmed in such a way that there was no way your average pervert viewing the film could glamourise violence against women, or get their rocks off by watching those scenes.

That’s because the depiction of violence against women in media is an obvious no-no. Seeing as though it’s bad enough that it happens in the first place, it doesn’t need any help from popular media.

So the decision by Johannesburg club H2O to use an image of a woman sworn at and punched in the face with blood flying to promote the impending visit of an international DJ is stomach-churningly awful.

The cartoon was uploaded on the club’s Facebook page on Thursday, and was part of a campaign to prevent opening deejays from playing music by the visiting deejay.

The reams of comments calling the cartoon “distasteful”, “sick” and “disgusting” by fans of the club’s page was gratifying. What wasn’t so gratifying was popular DJ and normally all-round good guy 5fm’s DJ Fresh endorsing the cartoon with a tweet that linked to it with the comment: “Lol. All the @Avicii tour DJs got this gentle reminder.”

So as someone who has previously enjoyed interviewing DJ Fresh, and lauds his work and views generally, I have to ask: what were you thinking?

And to the club in question: for shame. Find another way to promote your event that doesn’t involve portraying women being punched in the face.

What is your take on the cartoon? Tell us in the comment section below.

Verashni Pillay

Verashni Pillay

Verashni Pillay is the former editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian, and inaugural editor-in chief of Huffington Post South Africa. She has worked at various periods as senior reporter covering politics and general news, specialises in mediamanagement and relishes the task of putting together the right team to create compelling and principled journalism across multiple platforms.  Read more from Verashni Pillay

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