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7de Laan pins Friends plagiarism on junior

2014-01-20 16:29
Cape Town – 7de Laan on SABC2 is apologising for the plagiarism scandal in which the popular SABC soap lifted work from the American sitcom Friends, saying the theft of creative work should never have happened.

Danie Odendaal now admits the mistake and blames a junior, inexperienced "storyliner" who copied for the soap from the American sitcom.

The "storyliner" admitted to "being inspired" by a scene in Friends. The SABC on Friday said the public broadcaster does not condone plagiarism.

Danie Odendaal Productions isn't naming the "storyliner" who committed the plagiarism. Wednesday evening's episode of 7de Laan at the beginning credits Maritha Broschk with "draaiboek" (script), and in the end-credits Linda Scheepers as head writer but it’s not clear who wrote the actual scene treatment.

"The storyliner who proposed and outlined the scene was very young and inexperienced at the time and was not aware of the fine line between being inspired by another writer's ideas and copying them," says Danie Odendaal, executive producer of 7de Laan.

"Since neither the writer of the episode, nor the head writer or the producers are regular watchers of Friends, this mistake was not picked up and rectified. We apologise for this oversight. It is the first time in our 15 years on air that something like this has occured and one that should not have happened at all.”

SABC: We regret the harm caused by this incident

The SABC says in a statement that "as a broadcaster we regret the harm caused by this incident and is not one we take lightly" and that the SABC has "noted with regret viewers' complaints about the 7de Laan storyline debacle. We immediately, with Danie Odendaal Productions, conducted an investigation into the matter".

"The storyliner, who suggested the scene and then wrote the treatment, admitted to being inspired by a scene in Friends," says the SABC. "She has been made aware of the seriousness of the situation and has been disciplined accordingly by the production house."

"We are assured that her mistake was due to inexperience and not malicious intent," says the broadcaster “We would like to assure viewers that we are looking into ways of building further checks into our system to minimise the chances of this happening again.”

Read more on:    sabc2  |  sabc  |  tv  |  friends  |  7de laan

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