M-Net investigating on-set racism claims

2016-05-11 09:45

Cape Town – M-Net is now investigating an alleged “horrible racist incident” that took place on Tuesday on the set of the new telenovela, Ring of Lies, broadcast on its Mzansi Magic channel on DStv following a nasty verbal on-set spat.

It comes after Ring of Lies actresses Florence Masebe and Dineo Nchabeleng on Tuesday afternoon went public and alleged that there’s racism on the set of the Penguin Films show produced for M-Net’s Mzansi Magic channel on MultiChoice’s DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

Florence Masebe who said "racism is out here dancing on our set", tweeted the following: "I can speak to you anyway I like because I'm white." This is what a crew member just said to our director who is a black man. (sic)" Masebe called it "a horrible racist incident".

Nchabeleng backed her up, saying “we have been dealing with this bs since beginning of shoot. We will not continue to work until it is sorted” and that “this is the 2nd incident we've had on the set of Ring of Lies today and still we are meant to continue working!? What is happening?!"

Mzansi Magic tells Channel24 that filming has not been interrupted due to the investigation.

Mzansi Magic says the Randburg-based pay-TV broadcaster has been in contact with the Ring of Lies cast and production company Penguin Films regarding the incident that took place on-set involving two production crew members.

"An investigation is being undertaken and appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the situation is resolved," Nondumiso Mabece, PR head of M-Net's local entertainment channels told Channel24 in response to a media enquiry.

"Mzansi Magic and Penguin Films strongly condemn any acts of discrimination and encourage a fair working environment based on mutual respect".

Roberta Durrant, veteran South African TV producer and creative producer and director at Penguin Films, told Channel24 that "Penguin Films have a policy of zero tolerance to any form of discrimination on any of the Penguin Films sets".

Durrant says Penguin Films take the Ring of Lies matter seriously.

"The verbal altercation was between the director and the art director and we are investigating the incident and are taking all steps to sort it out."

The allegations of racism by Ring of Lies cast members comes just over a month after starlet Mbali Mlotshwa in late March claimed alleged racism on the set of the SABC's 7de Laan soap on SABC2 produced by Danie Odendaal Productions.

Mbali Mlotshwa said publicly that she suffered racial abuse on the 7de Laan set and that "racial slurs happened on set with people I thought were educated and open-minded".

The SABC ordered an urgent investigation.

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