Women in Media organisers: ‘We have the contracts to prove we booked Taraji’

2018-08-09 08:04
Taraji P. Henson attends the "Empire" season two premiere. (AP)

UPDATE - 12 August, 07:39: Halle Berry has responded to initial reports that she would be attending the International Women in Media conference.

Click here for the latest update.

UPDATE - 10 August, 11:16: Click here for the latest update

UPDATE - 9 August, 10:06: 21st Media Group have released a statement after consulting with their legal team. According to the statement the management company are in possession of three contracts, proof of payment and direct emails between 21st Media Group, Superstar Agency and 42 West PR. Evidence will be disclosed to the media at a press briefing on Thursday. (The tweet has since been removed) 42 West is yet to comment on allegations. 

Cape Town - Organisers of the International Women in Media Conference, 21st Century Group, have released an official statement following claims that Taraji P Henson - who was marketed as a keynote speaker - denied reports that she was coming to South Africa.

According to an official press statement released on Thursday the management company is "highly concerned and deeply disappointed" by Henson's social media posts claiming she had "no knowledge of the event."  

21st Century Group "goes on the record" saying: "Prior arrangements were made with Ms. Henson's Agents Superstar Agency whereby a contract was concluded between 21st Century Group and the latter, only upon confirmation of Ms. Henson's attendance at the event."

Adding: "A deposit was also paid to Superstar Agency as a matter of enforcing and complying with said contract."

The matter has been handed over to the company's New York legal team to determine whether the blunder was due to "miscommunication" or "deliberate breach of contact."


According to the statement, guests who purchased tickets will be fully refunded and allowed access to the event.

No more tickets will be sold, and attendance will be by invitation only. 


The conference was scheduled to take place on 5 September in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre, and boasted with an impressive guest line-up, which included American recording artist Ashanti. 

It was announced on Wednesday that the Empire actress would attending the event, alongside award-winning American actress Halle Berry.

In a series of tweets Henson posted that she had "no knowledge of the event" and called the artwork advertising the event "false." (Read more here

On Wednesday afternoon 21st Century Media released a statement saying that they were "trying to get to the bottom" of the matter.

The initial statement was followed by removing all mention of Henson and Berry from social media accounts, and official event line-up on the website.

Local TV personality Bonang Matheba - who was announced as MC - has withdrawn from the conference, saying she received no "feedback or clarity" on the matter.

It is still unclear if Ashanti or Berry will be attending.