by Thinus Ferreira
The South Africa's Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is looking into the case where the now-axed contestant Jana le Roux uttered a racial slur in the kykNET-produced Kwarantyn Afrikaans reality show on DStv while MultiChoice and kykNET have so far remained silent on the matter and not answered any specific questions posed about it.
It took M-Net's Afrikaans channels division overseen by Karen Keiring a day to remove Jana le Roux on Friday evening after mom Jana le Roux on Thursday evening during a game of 30 Seconds used the offensive and derogatory "k"-word in Kwarantyn.
On Friday morning Karen Meiring told the media that what happened was "completely unacceptable".
kykNET acknowledged receipt of subsequent media enquiries and specific questions but haven't answered any and haven't held any media briefing about the incident.
This past Saturday morning kykNET - and after MultiChoice had removed Leon Schuster films from its Showmax video-on-demand service for a review of the comedian's use of blackface - went ahead with the broadcast of the 1954 Jamie Uys film Daar Doer in die Stad.
The film uses a racially offensive "H"-word, along with several other offensive terms - something that appears to be incongruous with MultiChoice and kykNET's public statements about not racially insensitive content and language in broadcasts.
MultiChoice and kykNET didn't terminate Kwarantyn but removed Jana with her husband and the rest of her family who continue to get public exposure and remain to compete as they try to win R250 000.
Kwarantyn is an Afrikaans reality show that MultiChoice and kykNET is running as a DStv pop-up channel, produced by Red Pepper Pictures from two adjacent Johannesburg homes populated by the white Le Roux and the coloured Scheepers families in each.
The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has opened a case after it received complaints about the broadcast from DStv subscribers and is waiting for MultiChoice to respond.
SAHRC commissioner Andre Gaum told TVwithThinus in response to a media enquiry that "the SAHRC is looking into the matter".
"The Constitutional Court has pronounced that they use of the 'k'-word amounts to hate speech. It is of great concern that derogatory expressions involving this word still appear to form part of some South Africa's vocabulary. South Africans should desist from using words that hurt others deeply and damage national unity and social cohesion."
"All of us should work together to undo deeply entrenched racist tendencies that unfortunately appear to surface every now and again".
MultiChoice previously responded to the media when the Randburg-based pay-TV operator said that it will no longer give the Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr a platform on DStv, and that it canned the second season of the kykNET show before broadcast of the Bolhuis show after audio recordings surfaced of the disgraced private investigator Mike Bolhuis using racial slurs including the "k"-word.
Since Friday TVwithThinus posed several questions to MultiChoice about the Kwarantyn incident.
A media enquiry was sent to Aprio (the PR company doing corporate communications on behalf of MultiChoice), Joe Heshu (MultiChoice's group executive for corporate affairs), Benedict Maaga (MultiChoice's senior manager for corporate communications), as well as Nthabiseng Serote (MultiChoice senior corporate communications specialist) and Ntabiseng Motsei (MultiChoice marketing communications specialist).
None have responded by the time of publication of this report.
MultiChoice was asked why the pay-TV operator chose not to immediately remove the Kwarantyn contestant or family after the use of the racial slur and why MultiChoice decided not to end the Kwarantyn show.
MultiChoice was also asked whether Jana le Roux's remaining family in the show will still get any money, prizes, or derive any benefit from their exposure from being on the DStv channel and in programme, and why there was no on-air message from MultiChoice or kykNET on the Kwarantyn channel on Friday to apologise to viewers?
MultiChoice was also asked happens to the benefits that Jana le Roux and her family already received or might receive through MultiChoice by staying in the house and having been part of kykNET's Kwarantyn show.
Since Friday kykNET and its division boss Karen Meiring have also been asked questions about its content and acknowledged the media enquiry but haven't provided any answers to the questions.
TVwithThinus asked kykNET why it removed a contestant from an entertainment reality show on Friday but then broadcast a film like Doer in die Stad a day after on Saturday that contains extremely offensive and racist words that viewers notice. kykNET was asked how this lines up with MultiChoice and kykNET's statements of being against racism and removing someone for it, but allowing it in other content the next day.
Ek het ook die rapport gelees en wonder stellig hoe @kykNETtv 'n vrou kan laat skors oor k-pak woord en dan saai hulle Saterdagoggend 'n Jamie Uys prent uit met 'n ge mies mies en baas baas en 'n hond met die naam h**n*t!? Hulle kon mos die klank geredigeer het?— Morné van der Berg (@Mistermorne) June 28, 2020
kykNET was also asked why it decided not to end Kwarantyn immediately and why it chose not to stop the DStv pop-up channel and whether that was a consideration.
In the media enquiry, kykNET was also asked whether it's correct that the family of which mom Jana le Roux forms part, can still win R250 000, and if so, how this aligns with MultiChoice and kykNET's policy that people shouldn't benefit from discriminatory behaviour.
kykNET was also posed the questions of whether the families received any psychological counselling and if the Scheepers family was traumatised.
kykNET was asked why kykNET and Red Pepper Pictures decided to keep Jana le Roux on-air on Friday and showed her teary farewell and whether kykNET through that didn't make her into a sympathetic figure and someone that viewers are made to feel sorry for.
ALSO READ: MultiChoice's DStv in new racism scandal after Kwarantyn contestant uses 'K'-word racial slur in Afrikaans reality show; kykNET boss Karen Meiring calls shocking incident 'completely unacceptable'.
ALSO READ: As even more Mike Bolhuis racist slurs from the kykNET reality star surface including him using the 'k'-word, MultiChoice says it is still considering 'the reinstatement of the show'.
ALSO READ: After MultiChoice canned racist Mike Bolhuis' TV show on kykNET the private investigator starts a belated apology tour pleading for forgiveness: 'I used these terms in anger'.
ALSO READ: MultiChoice canned the Bolhuis reality show on kykNET after investigator Mike Bolhuis used racist and derogatory language including the 'n'-word.