Thursday, August 21, 2014

BREAKING. Fired Generations cast: 'Great effort has been put into painting us as greedy actors. This is about our livelihoods, not a lifestyle'.

The fired principal Generations cast who got dismissed by the SABC and MMSV Productions on Monday after walking off the set due to the SABC's failure in 10 months  to do good on the promised three year contracts, better pay rates and back payment for rebroadcasts of the show, is speaking out, saying "a great deal of effort has been put into painting us as greedy actors who want to lead extravagant lifestyles".

"Nothing could be further from the truth. This is about our livelihoods, not a lifestyle," says the Generations Actors Guild.

"We are fighting for industry conditions that are recognised as international best practice in the creative industry and economy. We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the love and support, and look forward to a resolution to this lamentable situation".

The principal cast that has now banded together as the Generations Actors Guild first went on strike in October 2013 for weeks after being coaxed back to work by the SABC with promises that the situation will be rectified.

In November the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng who personally intervened, in a statement announced that "this matter has finally been laid to rest".

It clearly wasn't. The Generations actors asked the SABC for the three year contracts promised to them personally by Hlaudi Motsoeneng in June 2013 instead of of the one year renewals, higher pay rates, as well as back payments for rebroadcasts and repeats, and payments for sales and international sales of the lucrative and popular soap to other TV channels as well as broadcasters in Africa.

On Monday the SABC and MMSVp Productions fired the massive principal cast on South Africa's most watched TV show which is also the most watched overall TV programme on South African television and the most watched soap.

Generations has an average weeknight audience of 7.5 million which commands R200 000 per 30 second ad spot and earns hundreds of millions of rands per year for the public broadcaster.

Since then the public backlash against the SABC and MMSV Productions have been growing, with anger from South African celebrities, actors, presenters and three South African ministers who've decided to get involved.

"Embarking on this action was a difficult decision for all of us, but in light of the events that transpired, we really didn't see any other option available to us," says the Generations Actors Guild.

"We have always been clear that we wanted an open dialogue, but sadly this hasn't been forthcoming".

"It is extremely encouraging therefore to receive such an outpouring of support from fans, fellow workers and various industry and political organisations," says the Generations Actors Guild.