Monday, September 1, 2014

M-Net's Big Brother Africa Hotshots scandal grows as Rwanda and Sierra Leone follow Ghana and are also dumped from the show.

The scandal around M-Net's latest upcoming season of Big Brother Africa set to start on Sunday on MultiChoice's DStv is growing with Rwanda and Sierra Leone contestants now also dumped from the house, following the decision to dump the originally selected contestants from Ghana.

The 9th season of Big Brother Africa, entitled Big Brother Hotshots and produced by Endemol South Africa from Johannesburg in South Africa, is now also eliminating the selected contestants from Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

It raises questions about whether, and how much, the supposedly pan-African reality format voyeur show is really going to be representative of the continent and the countries where contestants were originally allowed, and asked, to enter from.

Big Brother Hotshots is set to start on Sunday 7 September at 19:00 for 91 days with highlight shows which will be broadcast on AfricaMagic Showcase (DStv 150) as well as running for 24 hours per day on MultiChoice's  DStv 197 and DStv 198 channels.

Endemol South Africa and pay-TV broadcaster M-Net last month dumped the originally selected contestants from Ghana, launching a frantic search for people from Ghana already in South Africa to rather include.

Now Rwanda and Sierra Leone's originally selected contestants are also out of the house just days before the reality show is set to start.

The South African government's dramatic and negative change in visa regulations is to blame, now majorly impacting on South Africa's TV and film industry.

Already the confusing new visa regulations impacted on Homeland, the international and award-winning series currently filming some of its 4th season in Cape Town South Africa and which saw production and filming delayed. Homeland will film until November but would have been done sooner.

M-Net's AfricaMagic's Big Brother Africa has become the first and biggest casualty of the non-sensical new visa regulations, impacting not just the production and production values of the show but directly impacting what viewers - not just in South Africa but across the African continent - gets to see (or rather not see) on their TV screens.

Endemol South Africa and M-Net says in a statement it can "confirm that Sierra Leone and Rwanda will no longer form part of the countries participating" in Big Brother Africa Hotshots.

"Unfortunately, due to schedules and logistical constraints there was insufficient time to follow the necessary procedures in order to process the required travel documentation which has recently become a more complex procedure," says Endemol SA and M-Net without mentioning by name South Africa's sudden visa regulations changes.

"M-Net and Endemol SA wish to extend their gratitude to all those individuals, organizations and parties which assisted in working to secure the inclusion of housemates from both countries".

"Whilst it is not possible to include housemates from both countries in this season, M-Net and Endemol South Africa are confident that they are able to improve the process in order to successfully incorporate housemates from both countries if there are future editions of the series".