Cape Town – "Not everything on television is 100% real," says the producers, Seven20 Entertainment, after shocking revelations that kykNET's Oulap se Rooi, supposed to do makeovers of viewers' rooms, is fake.
The home makeover show Oulap se Rooi with the presenter twins Charlie and Alex Kotze was supposed to improve rooms of viewers, but instead did home-improvements at the executive producer Francois van Wyk's own home.
kykNET and viewers are shocked and Oulap se Rooi sponsor, Builders Warehouse told Channel24 earlier today that the company is "very disappointed".
"We're very disappointed about what has transpired because it was obviously not what was supposed to happen," said Zandile Manana, Builders Warehouse marketing manager.
"We decided to sponsor the programme based on the fact that we are a home improvement and DIY player. We want to inspire, educate and get our customers started on DIY. So we thought the concept was a nice one where the public got involved and their homes get renovated.
"After we found out that is was the producer’s house we were very disappointed. The problem is the show is almost over. It started in July. We're having a conversation with the producers. We're taking this further to see how we can remedy this situation. But from our side we're very disappointed," Manana said.
Stand-in actors were used because of time constraints
Seven20, in a statement on Monday afternoon admitted that stand-in actors were used for several rooms in Francois van Wyk's property in Emmarentia.
It was Charlie and Alex Kotze’s first job as TV presenters.
"Seven 20 made the decision to use stand-in actors for the makeover of some rooms," admits the company. "Again, this was a decision that we made because of time constraints and quality."
"We needed to create a positive reaction, and we wanted the audience to relate with the characters on the screen. What people need to understand is that it is still a television show - not everything on television is 100% real".
Ironically kykNET and the show asked viewers to write in and tell them of rooms in their own homes that need a makeover and that Oulap se Rooi with Charlie and Alex Kotze would come and do a makeover.
"We could either stage some of the episodes, or end up with no content at all. We decided that the former was the better option," says Francois van Wyk in the statement, saying he "paid for each and every made-over room in his house out of his own pocket.
"We simply decided to shoot the episodes in one space because it was logistically easier - we were running behind schedule and we wanted to save production costs and time".
Seven20 Entertainment says "we have kept all original invoices and receipts and we will gladly produce them to our clients and the channel".
The statement doesn't explain why viewers were not told beforehand, and why a show on M-Net's Afrikaans language channel on MultiChoice's DStv purportedly created and marketed to help viewers, ended up not doing that in each of the episodes.
Seven20 Entertainment says "sometimes we add scenes for dramatic effect or we edit some out – the show needs to be entertaining and that is always top of mind. However; the actors' reactions to the made-over rooms were genuine - they had not seen the rooms beforehand.
"We are saddened by the fact that sensationalism has taken precedence over facts and that media platforms started running with the story that was taken completely out of context," says co-producer and Top Billing presenter Ursula Chikane.
"We have always been committed to excellence and accountability. We put out a great product with our charming hosts Alex and Charlie Kotze and we delivered content on-time for broadcast. For a labour of love to be branded in an inaccurate light, causes us pain on a deeply personal level."
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