Barbie’s Housewives ‘a scam’

2013-07-21 14:00

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A week after announcing her grand plans to film the first South African version of The Real Housewives franchise, Barbie Brazil has been called a “scam” by NBCUniversal, which owns the rights to the show.

Brazil revealed her plans to City Press last Sunday and was immediately shot down by Jonathan Tuovinen, director of formats and production at NBCUniversal, who took to Twitter on Monday morning.

“Barbie Brazil does NOT have the Format Rights for The Real Housewives of South Africa! She is a scam :D,” he tweeted.

City Press has since established that a company called Tigere Productions will be in charge of The Real Housewives local franchise.

Tuovinen said the company had an “option” for the show, which means that they control the remake rights in South Africa for a limited time, during which they are allowed to discuss the possibility with TV channels.

“The international remake rights (officially known as format rights) are held by NBCUniversal International. Ms Brazil does not have these rights,” he said.

Tuovinen referred further queries to his press office, which did not reply to requests for further comment.

Tigere Productions’ owner refused to comment or be identified.

But Brazil refuses to go down without a fight.

Her manager, Lelo Bikitsha, argued that until the matter was settled, Tigere will not stage the show on South African TV.

He didn’t rule out the option of interdicting the production company, but did offer a somewhat friendly hand: “We are willing to resolve the issue with our rights and interests at the forefront. It will be settled on our terms.”

Brazil herself was more diplomatic.

“I don’t want to fight. I own the name and they own the rights. They want the name, they must settle. Show me the money.

“I’m a former stripper. I will give you a show,” she quipped. “All I want is for Jonathan (Tuovinen) to leave me alone. I’m working on a lot of projects. I’m creative and my mind is always thinking. I don’t need them.”

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