e.tv yanks shows from Saftas

2012-03-05 13:41

The South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas), which are already suffering from a credibility perception, are set for another knock to its dented reputation with e.tv set to pull all of its nominated shows and soaps just days before the sixth Saftas take place.

Insiders say that the broadcaster – which has had a frosty relationship with the Saftas for years – has “huge concerns” about the awards show and is going to yank all of its nominees for all its shows, including its soaps Scandal! and Rhythm City.

This will also remove both soaps from the already incomplete and contentious Best Soap category.
e.tv, which is withdrawing all its programming and presenter participation from this year’s Saftas, says “it’s unfortunate that we have had to withdraw our programming from the Saftas but we feel that it is necessary to do so in order to achieve greater organisational cohesion”.

Monde Twala, the group head of e.tv channels, refused to give specific reasons for e.tv’s decision.

e.tv has long been at loggerheads with the Saftas, but the broadcaster is hardly alone in having problems with the awards ceremony.

Previous snubs
M-Net did not enter for years, also unofficially citing concerns.

Previously, SABC1’s Generations producer Mfundi Vundla criticised the Saftas with him and the soap’s cast and crew boycotting the show.

7de Laan snubbed the Saftas last year.

The Saftas also failed to secure a broadcaster for the awards last year. Critics constantly blast the awards spectacle as unorganised.

In addition, previous winners and nominees within the industry act as judges, which critics say is a conflict of interest.

All three actors up for best actor in a drama series this year are from SABC1’s Intersexions.

There are no nominees for the category for best actress in a film. Interestingly, Shona Ferguson is one of the nominees in the category for best actor in a soap, but for e.tv’s Scandal!

Ferguson left Scandal! more than a year ago and has since the beginning of the year been with The Wild on M-Net.

Critics point to these and other examples as indicators of the problems within the Saftas.

Broadcaster troubles

Meanwhile, the SABC is still in shock after SABC3 initially agreed to broadcast the ceremony this year only for the public broadcaster to discover that one of its biggest soaps was suddenly not “allowed” to compete in the Best Soap category.

The National Film and Video Foundation, which organises the Saftas, said 7de Laan isn’t eligible to be included in the Best Soap category – where the winner is decided by public vote.

The foundation isn’t allowing 7de Laan to be a nominee because it did not enter any of the other categories.

The Saftas did not inform the production company nor the broadcaster about this.

“We were not aware that such a category – based on the fact that it’s a public voter’s choice, required a formal submission for other categories first,” said Zandile Nkonyeni, SABC2’s publicity manager.

Heated to-and-fro
Now e.tv, which is in talks with the foundation, has decided to pull its shows from the sixth Saftas taking place on Friday and Saturday at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, north of Joburg.

Channel24 understands that e.tv and the Saftas have been involved in a heated to-and-fro about the awards.

In an earlier statement the foundation said the judging panel, made up of only previous winners and nominees, is “a move aimed at creating a stronger peer recognition adjudication process”.

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