Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ring of Lies crew member gone and contract terminated after alleged 'horrible racist incident' on the set of Penguin Films and M-Net's telenovela for Mzansi Magic channel.

The nasty on-set fight that took place on Tuesday on Penguin Films and M-Net's new telenovela Ring of Lies for its Mzansi Magic channel on DStv, has seen its first casualty over the alleged "horrible racist incident" with at least one crew member now gone.

Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) tells TVwithThinus that at least one crew member's contract who worked on the new Penguin Films produced soap has been terminated.

It follows after the show's art director was not suspended but no longer working on Penguin Films' Ring of Lies set since Wednesday after being involved in a nasty verbal altercation on the show's set on Tuesday.

The alleged on-set racism came to light when the frustrated and furious Ring of Lies actress Florence Masebe on Tuesday went public with the on-set conflict behind the scenes, saying that a crew member allegedly told the show's black director "I can speak to you anyway I like because I'm white".

Florence Masebe said "racism is out here dancing on our set" and fellow actress Dineo Nchabeleng who called it "the 2nd incident we've had on the set of Ring of Lies today" on Tuesday, said that said "we have been dealing with this bullsh*t since the beginning of the shoot".

Penguin Films and M-Net executives have been shocked by the alleged on-set racism at Ring of Lies produced for M-Net's Mzansi Magic channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

Penguin Films' Roberta Durrant said it has a policy of zero tolerance to any form of discrimination on any of the Penguin Films sets and Mzansi Magic said it strongly condemns any acts of discrimination.

Penguin Film's investigation into the ugly on-set fight concluded on Wednesday but so far M-Net and Penguin Films have not released the findings of the investigation while Mzansi Magic viewers are wondering what fueled the alleged racist incident.

Mzansi Magic confirms that at least one crew member is now gone from Ring of Lies, telling TVwithThinus that "one of the independent contractors involved opted to terminate their contract".

Production on the show continues uninterrupted and Penguin Films and Mzansi Magic continue to engage with the cast and crew. Mzansi Magic says it wants Ring of Lies to be a "empowering working environment for all involved".

"Mzansi Magic and Penguin Films have stressed that they do not condone discrimination of any kind, and are committed to ensuring that this is enforced on all productions in which they are involved.

The incident - the second in just over a month after starlet Mbali Mlotshwa in late March claimed alleged racism on the set of the SABC's 7de Laan soap on SABC2 produced by Danie Odendaal Productions - is raising questions in South Africa's local TV industry.

The Ring of Lies incident would not have come to light if Florence Masebe didn't put her own reputation on the line to publicly call out the verbal fight as a "horrible racist incident" that has put pressure on M-Net and Penguin Films to act immediately.

On Wednesday Florence Masebe said she stands by everything she's said.