Florence Masebe: I'm proud of Nokuthula for speaking out on harassment
As some of Hollywood’s biggest stars reveal details of their alleged assault at the hands of American producer Harvey Weinstein, former Rhythm City actress Nokuthula Ledwaba opened up about harassment in the South African entertainment industry.
Nokuthula took to social media to cast the spotlight on her personal experiences of harassment in the industry.
"I was 19, starting out as an actor when a 'respected' male actor in his 30s said he wanted to 'take care' of me while stroking my hair. This particular actor was married even. I just played along for an hour or so and ducked as soon as I could," she said.
Nokuthula added that she was also labelled "difficult" because she refused to work with actors who apparently harassed her.
"I had reported him on many occasions and nobody listened. I got fed up. I asked to be written out of the show. They thought I was kidding. I simply refused to work. They got other actors to talk me out of my madness. Stood my ground. I was ready to march to the broadcaster...You refuse their advances, you're a s**t, a prima-donna, difficult," she wrote.
Nokuthula's comments drew sharp reaction from several actresses in the industry, including Florence Masebe and Bonnie Mbuli.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Florence applauded Nokuthula's bravery for speaking out on the issue.
"I am proud of her. I am glad she is brave and I hope that this does not in any way disadvantage her from being booked for future jobs. She is a talented actress. She must work, even if she is going to speak up against pest," Florence said.
Florence said she heard of countless experiences where young women had allegedly been harassed in the industry.
"Unfortunately with the amount of years I have been around in the industry I have had way too many young people come through to open up about things that have happened to them on set. It is not addressed and many of them end up with their careers dying because the perpetrators are stronger and bigger and have more power. So, they either speak out or shut up. Either way they remain the victim," she added.