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M-Net on Big Brother: Violence not our brand

2014-02-18 13:12
Cape Town – M-Net is speaking out after the pay-TV broadcaster’s latest Big Brother season for one of its channels was marred by another violent incident in which a male contestant slapped a woman, saying violence doesn’t represent the M-Net brand.

The violent incident hit the current Big Brother Mzansi season filmed on African soil, similar to previous seasons of Big Brother Africa, and all produced by the same production company, pay-TV broadcaster, and shown on DStv.

On Saturday the Big Brother Mzansi contestant Mbali Zulu, 26, was expelled after slapping the seated Iris Miya, grabbing her head as he stood in front of her and had to be pushed off by another female contestant who intervened.

"M-Net does not condone violence and will continue to take action against it, as necessary, as it has in the past," Yolisa Phahle, M-Net's director for local interest channels, told Channel24.

‘Viewers understand these incidents do not represent our brand’

"We are of the opinion that our viewers understand that these isolated incidents do not represent our brand and as such, continue to enjoy hundreds of hours of local content available on our channels," Phahle told Channel24.

"The safety of reality show contestants continues to be M-Net's paramount concern, so all contestants are screened intensively and undergo vigorous psychological, as well as medical assessments, with highly qualified practitioners within these fields prior to their selection for any reality show," she said.

Prior to Zulu's expulsion from Big Brother Mzansi on Saturday, the South African pay-TV broadcaster had to expel contestants from Big Brother Africa as well for violent transgressions.

In 2010 Endemol South Africa and M-Net had to expel Hannington Kuteesa after fighting with a female contestant, and in 2013 another contestant Nando was given the boot.

"The rules prohibiting violence and provocation in the Big Brother house are clear and communicated extensively," said Phahle when asked whether, given the previous violence which took place in Big Brother Africa, additional or other measures were employed or used for Big Brother Mzansi.

"M-Net and series producers Endemol South Africa will continue to take action when these rules are broken," she said.

Big Brother Mzansi with South African contestants is shown on M-Net's Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) channel on MultiChoice's DStv, and a two further dedicated Big Brother Mzansi TV channels are provided by M-Net and playing non-stop on DStv.

Vuzu (DStv 116), another M-Net supplied TV channel to DStv, very recently had to abruptly cancel and halt production of an already commissioned new reality show, Raising the Bar, after the flamboyant choreographer and socialite Somizi Mhlongo was involved in a violent fist fight also captured on camera during production.

Read more on:    dstv  |  tv  |  reality
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