Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
5 minute read
21 Jul 2020
3:01 pm

SA actors come out in support of ‘Lithapo’ actresses after sexual misconduct allegations

Kaunda Selisho

Both actresses shared their accounts of lewd comments, inappropriate physical contact and offers for quid-pro-quo sexual exchanges from an unnamed lead actor on the show.

Lithapo actresses Lorraine Moropa and Alotvise Lawrence | Images: Instagram

Actors such as Masasa Mbangeni, Dineo Langa, Warren Masemola and Thuso Mbedu have all come out in support of actresses Lorraine Moropa and Altovise Lawrence after the pair detailed their experiences of sexual harassment on the set of the SABC 2 drama, Lithapo.

Moropa led the charge when she took to Instagram on Monday evening to declare “enough is enough”.

“Being constantly sexually harassed by a male senior at a workplace can not and should not be tolerated. Your senior, someone who’s meant to guide and protect you in the entertainment industry, violates your human rights, that’s not even half the pain,” wrote Moropa.

“Imagine working with someone who undresses you from how he looks at you. Someone that grabs their genitals on a set while looking at your ass or grabs your ass and laughs it off in front of a crew (yes my cases have always been in the presence of my colleagues). That to me is worse than a slap in the face,” she added.

Without naming names, Moropa went on to comment about how her harasser had a daughter who was practically her age and worked in the entertainment industry as well.

“I wonder if he would appreciate his daughter coming home with half the stories I have to go home and tell my mother due to his actions,” she said.

Moropa further went on to question who championed the cause of women in the entertainment industry and protects the images of those who lay complaints.

“What happens to our dignity as people in the industry allow such behaviour? I, for one, am SICK AND TIRED. IT ENDS HERE AND NOW FOR ME! I did not sleep my way into any role and I refuse for my process to get into this industry and cement my name just for it to be tainted by someone who has zero self-control or respect for us as professionals in the industry. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” she concluded.

Moropa’s statement was supported by fellow Lithapo actress and YFM DJ Altovise Lawrence, who said that she had similar encounters with the unnamed actor, who allegedly offered to furnish her apartment in exchange for sex.

“I stand in solidarity with @lorrainemoropa who has had the courage to come out and say that she has been sexually harassed by an actor on set. The same man that sexually harassed her, has sexually harassed me too on the very same set,” said Lawrence.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I present to you: An actor in their natural habitat. I also present to you: An actor that has been sexually harassed by another senior actor in this habitat. • • I stand in solidarity with @lorrainemoropa who has had the courage to come out and say that she has been sexually harassed by an actor on set. The same man that sexually harassed her, has sexually harassed me too on the very same set. • • He told me that I’m sexy. He has asked me how far down my tattoos go. He has undressed me with his eyes. He offered to furnish my apartment in exchange for sex. He has bitten his lip when I’ve exited the change-room. He has spoken about how great my ass looks in wardrobe (a pencil skirt in this instance); loud enough for cast & crew to hear. • • To say that I’m tired would be an understatement. I have considered reporting him many times, but I didn’t because I was afraid of halting production, causing problems and creating tension on set. I’m not tired anymore… • • I’m sorry I didn’t speak out when it happened @lorrainemoropa. But, I’m saying something now. What happened was disgusting and it can’t continue. I believe you. I support you. I’ve got you, sis ♥️ • • It’s enough!

A post shared by Altovise (@altovise_l) on

“I’m sorry I didn’t speak out when it happened @lorrainemoropa. But, I’m saying something now. What happened was disgusting and it can’t continue. I believe you. I support you. I’ve got you, sis,” she added.

After an initially tone-deaf input into the conversation, actor Warren Masemola vowed: “We will try help our sisters.”

Former star of Mzansi Magic’s The Queen, Dineo Langa also tweeted her support for Lawrence and Moropa.

Lithapo (aka Ties That Bind) is a Sesotho drama that debuted on SABC 2 earlier this year and stars the likes of Joyce Skefu, Seputla Sebogodi, Mangaliso Ngema, Israel Zulu and Sthandiwe Kgoroge, among others.

The drama is produced by Quizzical Pictures who were contacted by the Citizen for comment. The production house acknowledged that they were aware of the allegations and added that they were “dealing with this issue with the people concerned”.

A statement by production house Quizzical Pictures on allegations of sexual misconduct made by actresses on SABC 2 drama Lithapo | Image: Supplied

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