Toyota 'does not want to be associated with divisive elements', but won't pull concert sponsorship over Hofmeyr

2019-03-18 22:59
Steve Hofmeyr (Gallo Images)

Steve Hofmeyr (Gallo Images)

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Toyota South Africa Motors on Monday said it had conveyed its sentiments to Afrikaans is Groot (AIG) management that its brand "does not want to be associated with divisive elements".

The motor giant in a statement said it was "aware of social media comments" surrounding the involvement of Steve Hofmeyr in the sold-out event.

“TSAM, as one of the sponsors of AIG, would like to state categorically that it had entered into a contractual agreement with Afrikaans is Groot as an entity. The aforementioned contract is not prescriptive when it comes to the creative process as this is outside the scope of the agreement," the statement reads.

"However, TSAM has taken the matter up with the management of AIG, clearly conveying its sentiments that the Toyota brand does not want to be associated with divisive elements. In future, TSAM expects organisers of AIG to be more cognisant of artists whose involvement in the event could be divisive and based on this TSAM will act decisively in line with what the organisation stands for as a good corporate citizen."

The company said it "supports various shows and events across different cultural spectrums without any prejudice".

"TSAM, as an organisation whose business ethos is built on respect for people, would like to reassure its customers and South Africans that it seeks to promote peace and unity in the country among all, and that it does not support any person or entity whose views and sentiments could be seen as sowing divisions."

No line-up change

MTN last week announced it would cut all ties with the show over the involvement of Hofmeyr, who is featured prominently in promotional posters for the event which took place over five sold-out performances from March 14 to 17 in Cape Town at Grand West Casino. Events are also scheduled to take place in Pretoria at the Sun Arena at Time Square Casino in November and December this year.

He is known for his provocative statements about race and right-wing comments.

Hofmeyr received backlash and caused outrage when he tweeted four years ago: "Sorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of apartheid. Go figure."

He has continued to make similar comments.

In 2015 both Land Rover and Pick n Pay pulled their sponsorship with AIG due to Hofmeyr's involvement in the show and his racial comments.

Channel24 last week reported that AIG said it would not be changing its line-up despite the backlash related to the artist's involvement.

"It is not the function of AIG to get involved or comment on the personal or public viewpoints of any artist, including Steve. Those who bought the tickets did it with his participation as part of the offering – each ticket is a contract with the buyer. Therefore, as one of the country's most popular music stars, Steve is still performing in the concert."

Read more on:    toyota  |  steve hofmeyr

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