Actors not wild about new soapie

2011-04-01 12:33

The Creative Workers’ Union of South Africa (Cwusa) has accused M-Net of being racist and exploiting local actors.

Cwusa plans to picket the launch of the new local programme, The Wild, at Montecasino Nu Metro, Fourways, in support of actor Tony Kgoroge, who was replaced by actor Putla Sehlapelo after failing to reach an agreement on the terms of his contract.

“This is an industry matter and is not about money, but about principle,” said Cwusa President Mabutho “Kid” Sithole.

Among the demands made at a press conference held in Johannesburg, the union called for the reinstatement of Tony Kgoroge to the soapie, the introduction of fair labour practices and an end to the harassment and intimidation of the casting crew.

“It’s our responsiblity to protect the rights of actors in this country,”said Sithole.

Fellow actors Hlomla Dandala, Bubu Mazibuko, Tumisho Masha, Mmabatho Montsho, Thobi Mkhwanzi and comedian David Kau were present to support Kgoroge, who has acted in the films Skin and Hotel Rwanda.

Publicity Manager for M-Net Lani Lombard said “all the production staff and the cast are remunerated fairly according to industry standards and some of the more established actors are paid well above the industry standard as we appreciate their value as drawcards to the series”.

“Tony Kgoroge was presented with a very lucrative contract to play one of the leading characters – Tiro Lebone – but he declined the offer.

“Following extensive negotiations with Kgoroge, M-Net had no option but to recast the character, which will now be portrayed by Putla Sehlapelo,” she said.

The launch of the series will take place on Sunday, April 3 at Montecasino Nu Metro.

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