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Skeem Saam's Pretty opens up about harassment in the industry

02 August 2018 - 16:10 By Kyle Zeeman
Lerato Marabe says that harassment is common in the industry and needs to be addressed.
Lerato Marabe says that harassment is common in the industry and needs to be addressed.
Image: Via Lerato's Instagram

Skeem Saam actress Lerato Marabe says sexual harassment in the entertainment industry has become such a norm that people often joke about it among themselves.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE at the start of women's month, Lerato said she hadn't personally experienced sexual harassment but knew a few people who had.

"A lot of the time, the people in the industry will promise them jobs or whatever it is and be like you know what? If you sleep with me I will give you a job.' Women even laugh about it. It wasn't like a serious thing. I was like: 'Are you guys serious? There's so many ways that you can go about it, why would you sleep with someone?'"

She said that awareness campaigns like the #MeToo movement came and went but harassment continued.

"In this industry, it is one thing that is still going on. It is not like the beginning when we were all shocked. I feel it is so normal that females are even laughing about it. It is still happening."

She kicked off women's month by visiting a school in Katlehong this week to offer advice and empowerment to young girls.

Image: Via The Footprints Foundation

"It was so touching being there. Skeem Saam is an educational show and highlights some of the issues these children face. So, it was great to see them response to us. I really enjoyed motivating and giving back to my community."

She said it was important for those already in the industry to speak out to protect those who were coming through.

"I would tell young actresses to do things the right way and to be patient. A lot of the time people are so hungry for fame that they do not give themselves enough time. Just be patient because your break is coming. Don't let someone have power over you."