By Oluthando Keteyi - 10 October 2019Views : 742
In a lengthy statement, Connie and Shona Ferguson, owners of Ferguson Films, have responded to the recent allegations of "bullying and exploitation" of actors levelled against them by actress Vathiswa Ndara in her open letter to the Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa.
In her six-page letter released on social media, Ndara shared that she will not be returning to season three of the hit drama, iGazi, in which she plays Noma Russia.
The actress shines a spotlight on the entertainment industry, showing that not all that glitters is gold.
The Igazi star lists allegations of poor remuneration, unfair contractual agreement, unfair treatment by producers and makes claims of bullying and intimidation in the industry.
In their statement, Connie and Shona have hit back at the award-winning actress's allegations, claiming that as actors and producers they are "aware of the challenges facing the entertainment industry".
"We support 100% a need for the industry to be regulated and for the Performance Protection Amendment Bill to be signed sooner than later. With that said, the allegations made by the various actors do not reflect the true position of the industry and paints a false picture, that may mislead the public," read the statement.
In their statement, the Fergusons address "some points raised" by the award-winning actress in her open letter.
The Fergusons acknowledge that negotiations between them and the actress were unsuccessful, as she wouldn't accept anything less than R700 000 for the five-week shoot and they "could not meet her financial demand."
"She absolutely had every right to decline our offer, which she did," reads the statement.
Connie and Shona also refuted Ndara's claim that Ferguson Films "reap(s) the financial benefits through repeat broadcasts, licensing deals and repacking of the show".
"We do not own the shows we produce under commission and therefore have no right or say in what with shows post final delivery to the broadcaster."
The Fergusons also address the jabs taken at their lifestyles, which they describe as "petty, unnecessary and uncalled for".
"The allegations towards Ferguson Films are consequently misguided, misdirected and misleading and can be seen as a ploy to defame and tarnish our reputation."
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