Girls left in the dark after TV show promises are broken

2017-08-29 15:51
Razaan Meyer

Razaan Meyer

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Local models set to feature in a TV show are angry after a controversy amid claims of broken promises and unpaid bills. 

The girls from Grassy Park, Mitchell’s Plain and other Cape Town suburbs entered the Beeldskoon: Model Discovery competition earlier this year with dreams of becoming Cape Town’s next top model. 

The TV competition, based on the America’s Next Top Model reality show, is supposedly aimed to uplift local women from disadvantaged areas in the Mother City.

Contestants were promised the chance of becoming supermodels and winning grand prizes, including an overseas trip and a car, but things soon turned sour when the girls started noticing a lack of professionalism on set. 

Show contestant Razaan Meyer says she is disgusted with the treatment the models got on set. 

“There were days that we had to ask for food, and there were times money was asked of us. We moved from one guest house to another, and then to our homes for a while. We were finally told that we were going to a house in Camps Bay, but ended up at a hotel,” says the fuming contestant.

“The shenanigans went on and on, and we were promised so many things. A lot of the women went through emotional and unnecessary anxiety, but nobody had any regard for them.”

Meyer says members of the show left and new people came on board.

The manager of the first guest house used says the accommodation bill had not been paid, and that charges have been lain at a Cape Town police station.

“We were fed so many stories. I asked questions since day one and got attacked for asking things that don’t concern me. In the entire three months so much negativity went down,” she claims.

According to promotional material, the idea created by local producer Alfredo Alfred aims to give aspiring models the opportunity to reach for their dreams. The contestants were promised grand prizes, including a week-long modelling mentorship in Los Angeles and new Fiat car for the winner. An SMS competition also promised a Jeep Renegade to the winner. 

“What still baffles me is how adult people treated us young women as if what we felt or went through meant nothing,” Meyer says. “It was unprofessional, it was messy, it was time-wasting and now everyone has something to say, but during the course of it nobody told us to leave. And now our faces, the so-called contestants, are blasted on front pages.”

“What scares me the most is that we had taken lingerie pictures, very sexy pictures may be included and most of it was not submitted to us. We were told the show was going to air it, but none of us had signed release forms for any of our content. We were fed so many lies,” adds Meyer.

Vodacom, whose logo is displayed on the SMS competition, is not involved in sponsorship or endorsement of the show, says company spokesperson Byron Kennedy. He says they have asked the show to remove Vodacom’s logo from its website. 

The SABC3 logo is also displayed on promotional material. SABC3’s Aisha Mohamed says she only heard of Beeldskoon from a journalist and they are not planning to screen the show.

According to the Weekend Argus, Alfred maintains the show is in post-production and will be submitted to the SABC for consideration. He says he has paid everyone.


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