Cape Town – With plunging ratings and having lost millions of viewers more drama is waiting behind the scenes for SABC1’s beleaguered restarted soap with the fired principal cast now taking their cast to the high court with help from a former SABC CEO and demanding that the SABC stop broadcasting Generations: The Legacy at the latest by 10 January 2015.
While viewers have soured in their millions and turned on the soap, which restarted at the beginning of last week after a break of two months, the Generations Actors Guild is now going to challenge their dismissal by producer Mfundi Vundla in the high court.
In the ever-widening scandal they’re helped in their battle against the SABC and Mfundi Vundla by none other than the former SABC CEO, advocate Dali Mpofu. They’ve now withdrawn their case from the CCMA and are going to the high court instead.
The SABC’s now acting CEO Hlaudi Motsoeneng promised the fired Generations cast three year contracts in June 2013 which more than a year later didn’t materialise. They also never got payment, known as residuals – and specified in their existing contracts – for the multiple rebroadcasts in South Africa and resales of the soap internationally. They eventually embarked on a stayaway and were promptly fired.
The scandal dominated TV and entertainment headlines since mid-August when the cast was fired, with ugly mudslinging between Vundla and the SABC and the fired cast – something which has not been lost on viewers. The reset soap – sans the familiar faces – had a debut last Monday of 7.5 million viewers 15 and older – the demographic most coveted by advertisers, but plunged to a shocking 4.1 million viewers by this past Friday.(Members from the fire cast with Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Facebook)Legal letter delivered
Now the Generations Actors Guild says the SABC, Mfundi Vundla and MMSV Productions breached some of their rights as defined in the South African Constitution. The Generations Actors Guild delivered a legal letter demanding that the “new” Generations be taken off SABC1 by the SABC no later than 10 January 2015.
Dali Mpofu told the Generations Actors Guild that besides labour rights, their issue involves contractual and contitutional issues.
“The decision by MMSV Productions and the SABC to create a new show while the case with the Generations cast was as yet unresolved represents a breach of the contractual and fundamental constitutional rights of the actors and they both did so knowing there was a pending dispute and hence it was at their own risk,” says the actors’ attorney, Bulelani Mzamo.
“The cast had always expressed their desire to return to work. Their withdrawal of services was taken as a last resort, based on the fact that this agreement was continuously violated. The actors consistently expressed their willingness to return to work. Nonetheless, MMSV Productions hired new actors and commenced with a new production, Generations The Legacy, knowing that they have not resolved the fundamental contractual issues with the cast of Generations. It is on this basis that we are taking the cast to the high court.”
“Generations The Legacy should never have been produced and aired while the current dispute was still unresolved.”
“This is going to be an important case – not only for defining the rights of the actors, the production company and the SABC, but also the interests of the licence-paying public and the millions of Generations fans across the country and the continent,” says Mzamo.
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