AFTER DECADES of sexual abuse, American movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is being named and shamed.
And now Nokuthula Ledwaba has spoken out and many South African actors have confirmed what people have always known.
THE LOCAL SCENE IS NO DIFFERENT FROM AMERICA.
Nokuthula, known for her roles in Rhythm City, Umlilo and Long Walk To Freedom, has taken a stand against the harassment of women in the acting industry.
Nokuthula told Daily Sun: “It would be too early and careless to be naming and shaming at this moment.”
She said there are no laws protecting women actors on set.
Nox, as she is popularly known, wrote in a thread on Twitter that she was 19 and starting out as an actor when a respected male actor in his 30s said he wanted to take care of her. He was stroking her hair at the time.
She said it’s well-known that victims who speak out end up being shamed.
“We want to make sure that things like this do not happen and we have the right channels to deal with harassment, rape and assault. We need to feel safe enough to report these things.
“I’ve seen some of the most gifted women performers from all over South Africa forced to go home, pregnant, sick and broken,” she said.
“We have to fight with the production people to make sure extras get home safely after the end of filming, especially if shooting away from Joburg.”
She said she was fortunate to work with Baby Cele, Linda Sebezo, Eric Mogale, Grace Mahlaba and Quincy Myeza, who had protected her.
“I was in a show where the two lead actors constantly harassed women, both crew and actors. The producers decided the solution was to call everyone to a sexual harassment workshop.
“We owe it to women and girls in all industries and spaces to stand up for one another.”
Nokuthula said they will have an indaba in November with the deputy minister in the department of arts and culture to discuss issues affecting the entertainment industry.
Her writing sparked other comments from well-known actresses who shared their thoughts in tweets.
- TV presenter Bonnie Mbuli said: “Unfortunately in SA, nothing will be done about the perpetrators! Young actresses are torn between fighting the harassment or furthering their careers.” She said while on Backstage, she spoke up about a man who sexually harassed women.
“I spoke up and reported him but he denied it.”
- Actor and writer Portia Gumede tweeted: “We have to show directors who sleep with extras while lying to them about talking to producers to grow their roles. Tsek!”
- Legendary actress Flo Masebe said the day had come when South African actors would open up about the things happening in the industry.
- American billionaire movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is reportedly facing criminal investigation amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment.