Monday, September 14, 2015

FAUX PAS: kykNET's fake-over Oulap se Rooi: 'Not everything on television is 100% real'; show admits stand-in actors were used for makeovers at producer's own house.

"Not everything on television is 100% real," says the producers, Seven20 Entertainment, after shocking and damaging revelations that kykNET's Oulap se Rooi - supposed to do make-overs of viewers' rooms - is a TV fake.

The home make-over show Oulap se Rooi with the presenter twins Charlie and Alex Kotze was supposed to improve rooms of viewers.

Instead it was the house of the executive producer Francois van Wyk that got upgrades and make-overs without viewers being told and viewers deliberately kept in the dark with stand-in actors creating the perception that it is rooms in their own and different homes.

kykNET and viewers are shocked and Oulap se Rooi sponsor, Builders Warehouse told TV with Thinus earlier on Monday that the company is "very disappointed".

"We're very disappointed for what has transpired because it was obviously not what was supposed to happen," said Zandile Manana, Builders Warehouse marketing manager.

"We decided to sponsor the programme based on the fact that we are a home improvement and DIY player. We want to inspire, educate and get our customers started on DIY. So we thought the concept was a nice one where the public got involved and their homes get renovated."

"But when we found out that actually it was the producer's house, we are very disappointed."

"We're having a conversation with the producers. We're taking this further to see how we can remedy this situation. But from our side we're very disappointed," says Zandile Manana.

Seven20 Entertainment, in a statement on Monday afternoon admits that stand-in actors were used for several rooms in Francois van Wyk's property in Emmarentia, Johannesburg, making as if it's the rooms in their homes.

The company says these stand-in actors' reactions to the rooms however are genuine.

Oulap se Rooi was Charlie and Alex Kotze first job as TV presenters, now mired in scandal.

"Seven 20 made the decision to use stand-in actors for the makeover of some rooms," admits the company. "Again, this was a decision that we made because of time constraints and quality."

"We needed to create a positive reaction, and we wanted the audience to relate with the characters on the screen. What people need to understand is that it is still a television show - not everything on television is 100% real," says Seven20 Entertainment.

Ironically kykNET and the show asked viewers to write in and tell them of rooms in their own homes that needed a makeover and that Oulap se Rooi with Charlie and Alex Kotze would come and do a makeover.

"We could either stage some of the episodes, or end up with no content at all. We decided that the former was the better option," says Francois van Wyk in the statement, saying he "paid for each and every made-over room in his house out of his own pocket".

"We simply decided to shoot the episodes in one space because it was logistically easier - we were running behind schedule and we wanted to save production costs and time".

Seven20 Entertainment says "we have kept all original invoices and receipts and we will gladly produce them to our clients and the channel".

The statement doesn't explain why viewers were not told beforehand, and why a show on M-Net's Afrikaans language channel on MultiChoice's DStv, purportedly created and marketed to help viewers, ended up not doing that in each of the episodes.

Seven20 Entertainment says "sometimes we add scenes for dramatic effect or we edit some out - the show needs to be entertaining and that is always top of mind. However; the actors' reactions to the made-over rooms were genuine - they had not seen the rooms beforehand".

"We are saddened by the fact that sensationalism has taken precedence over facts and that media platforms started running with the story that was taken completely out of context," says co-producer and Top Billing presenter Ursula Chikane.

"We have always been committed to excellence and accountability," says Ursula Chikane.

"We put out a great product with our charming hosts Alex and Charlie Kotze and we delivered content on-time for broadcast. For a labour of love to be branded in an inaccurate light, causes us pain on a deeply personal level," says Ursula Chikane.