Actress and award-winning producer Mmabatho Montsho) criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s congratulatory tweet on her best short film award at the 2020 Worldwide Women’s Film Festival.
In response to the message, she pleads with the president to sign the Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers Protection Amendment Bill, which currently fails to protect the rights of actors in today’s media landscape.
"Dear Mr President,@CyrilRamaphosa Upon seeing your tweet congratulating our film, The Award Ceremony for its international win for Best Short Film at The Worldwide Women’s Film Festival, I spoke with some of my colleagues so that the response is collective. #ForTheArts," she captioned the open letter.
In her collective response with fellow female colleagues, she makes reference to the president’s 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
"We spoke about how you neglected to include us in your SONA speech so that we can hold you accountable when you do not fulfil your plans for our industry. Since the arts were not mentioned, it is fair to assume there are no plans."
She ends the statement by saying, "In short, we reach these milestones you celebrate against incredible odds. Please celebrate us by attending to our grievances."
Responses flowed in supporting Mmabatho’s statement, followed by former employees in the industry sharing their grievances.
Late year, actress Vatiswa Ndara raised allegations of exploitation in an open letter to Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa.
"At the risk of public shame, humiliation and salacious headlines, not to mention alienation from peers and possible blacklisting from the powers that be in the sector, I humble myself in expressing the truth of my experience in the arts and entertainment industry and publicly exposing the depth of my frustrated and broken spirit," she stated in the letter.
Vatiswa parted ways with the Mzansi Magic show Igazi, produced by Ferguson Films, after they could not settle on an agreement regarding her contract. In response to the claims, Channel24 reported that Ferguson Films replied via their attorney on the matter saying the allegations are "misguided, misdirected and misleading".