Monday, May 19, 2014

Bad backstage vibe continues behind-the-scenes at SABC3's Isidingo, as Endemol SA has disciplinary hearing for soap actor Don Mlangeni-Nawa.

The bad and toxic backstage atmosphere continues at the Endemol South Africa produced soap Isidingo on SABC3, with Endemol SA which held a disciplinary hearing today for the soap actor Don Mlangeni-Nawa.

It follows after Don Mlangeni-Nawa in the latter part of 2013 made his displeasure public about not wanting to mention Standard Bank in his lines in Isidingo which formed part of ongoing in-show product placement that's never overtly disclosed to viewers.

Paid-for product placement where actors basically end up hawking brands, products and services are rife in South African soaps and TV shows which force actors to promote brands in shows as part of their story dialogue.

Last year multiple entertainment reports simply lifted a tabloid tale, without checking and doing their own original reporting, that Don Mlangeni-Nawa was fired from the show for refusing to do the Standard Bank shilling.

TV with Thinus had to report that Don Mlangeni-Nawa was definitely still employed and still working on Isidingo.

That employment status could now very likely change soon, as Endemol South Africa publicly chose to apparently pro-actively worsen the relationship between the production company and the actor in the eyes of the public.

That could see the character of Zebedee Matabane be the next to abruptly leave the soap.

The shocking statement - which is in very bad form for a South African production company to make - indirectly also serves as a warning shot to other Isidingo "complainers".

Ironically it inflicts more public reputational damage, willingly and deliberately, to the brands of Isidingo, Endemol South Africa and SABC3.

Today Endemol South Africa publicly embarrassed one of its own - shaming, by own volition and choice - its own on-air talent.

That shocking lack of decorum dents the brands of Isidingo and SABC3 in the process; even more so it reveals the ongoing string of tensions behind-the-scenes at Isidingo.

At a happy TV soap the drama is all playing out on the screen. Endemol South Africa is making it clear that at Isidingo drama is happening behind-the-scenes - drama which detracts from producing the best TV soap that Isidingo can be.

Publicly telling South Africa that your own soap's actor is getting a disciplinary hearing, partly appears to be an effort to stave off and "warn" the remaining Isidingo actors to toe the line and not to "overstep" by speaking out publicly about things they're unhappy with.

The Endemol SA soap has seen an ongoing exodus of both crew as well as on-air talent for several months now, with many who've left saying that they haven't enjoyed working there for a long time.

Today Endemol South Africa felt it good to wash its own dirty laundry in public, informing the South African TV industry that Don Mlangeni-Nawa is having a disciplinary hearing today "as a result of the actor's disregard for conduct codes and lack of discipline while contracted to the Endemol produced daily drama".

"No one actor or crew member is bigger, or has the right to compromise any part of what makes Isidingo the great show it is today. This disciplinary hearing is unfortunate, but  necessary," says Sivan Pillay, Endemol South Africa's managing director.

Interestingly, what is unfortunate but not necessary, is for Endemol South Africa to publicly put out such as damaging statement - deliberately damaging Don Mlangeni-Nawa.

Although it damages the actor, it also damages Endemol SA, Isidingo and SABC3.

According to the statement, Don Mlangeni-Nawa's disciplinary hearing is due to "the actor's disregard for conduct codes and lack of discipline while contracted to the Endemol produced daily drama".

"Don Mlangeni-Nawa's lack of discipline and general disrespect for the show, the company, its many great actors and the SABC, saw Endemol take action (both verbally and in writing) against the actor after his repeated transgressions on and off set".

"It is important to note that mutual respect, by and for the entire cast and crew of the show, is something we take very seriously," says Sivan Pillay.