After wrapping up a case of allegations about on-set sexual misconduct, Production House Quizzical Pictures has been criticised for their statement on the matter.
Earlier this week, actresses Lorraine Moropa and Altovise Lawrence turned to social media to detail their experiences of sexual harassment on the set of the SABC 2 drama, Lithapo.
Moropa led the charge when she shared an Instagram post on Monday evening declaring “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.
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.
After initially acknowledging that they were aware of the allegations and were “dealing with this issue with the people concerned,” Quizzical Pictures has since confirmed that they have resolved the issue on the Lithapo set and that “the actress concerned is comfortable with the outcome.”
The production house added that they are committed to creating a fair and respectful workplace for their cast and crew.
However, the statement has been criticised for being scant on detail.
Hmmm, crisis and reputation communication is needed desperately here… This will cause further damage! https://t.co/pJxn6Vt7MH
— Gabi Mbele™ (@TheGabi) July 23, 2020
This cannot be it!!!… https://t.co/lVjjPPbC5b
— Ke Nthabiseng Mamabolo ???? (@nthabimamabolo_) July 23, 2020
What’s being said here? ???????? https://t.co/pUWdsqHwiT
— Ke Mopedi (@ka_nyane) July 23, 2020
what does this even mean? https://t.co/AYpa5oPBIr
— Dolores Cornelia Eugenie Bernice Archibald (@EsEnOh) July 23, 2020
How is this a statement? https://t.co/US8VSYh80b
— Sandlasekhaya (@sandlasekhaya) July 23, 2020
‘Heal’ could have just said that and called it a day???? https://t.co/ywfV1oce2p
— Niki???? (@uNicky_N) July 23, 2020
— Pheladi (@Masemola_P) July 23, 2020
Don’t bore us, your statement is just saying nothing https://t.co/JBWN0sm4M1
— Nthabiseng Ikaneng (@Nthabi_Mabine) July 23, 2020
Moropa also issued a more detailed statement of her own, alleging that she had been harassed by the actor in question on more than one occasion.
“I have had discussions with Quizzical Pictures in which they have assured me of their intention to remedy the situation. I have been informed on the steps that they will be taking against the actor in question and I am happy with those steps.
“I wish to stand with all South African women when I say that enough is enough, and we will not be silenced,” she added.
Read her full statement below.
— Lorrainemoropa (@Lorraine_Moropa) July 23, 2020
While Quizzical Pictures has not said anything more on the matter, entertainment commentator Phil Mphela reports that the alleged perpetrator is actor Mangaliso Ngema, who has since been fired from the production.
NOTE: No official criminal charges have been laid against Mr Ngema, as I post this.
He is still entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by the court of law. #KgopoloReports
— Kgopolo Mphela (@PhilMphela) July 23, 2020
Over the last few days, Ngema’s picture has been posted by various actors and actresses as a form of silent protest against his alleged actions.
No criminal charges have been laid against Ngema and it unclear whether Moropa intends to take further action.