As actors return to set, Florence Masebe wants answers on how they will be kept safe
Meanwhile Zola Hashatsi has called for a shutdown of entertainment industry amid Covid-19
Florence Masebe, Rami Chuene and Zola Hashatsi are among the many South African actors that have voiced their frustration at the lack of "clarity" from government on how actors returning to work this week will be kept safe from Covid-19.
The conversations have included matters such as ensuring the safety of cast and crew as productions resume in a Covid-19 era, the matter of indemnity forms that actors will most likely have to sign, and everything in between.
Florence worried that "the regulations on filming for local production are dangerously vague."
"The most basic thing ministers seem to miss is this. If you tell the nation that hair salons and nail bars may not open under level four, have you any idea what happens in a makeup room for a film or television production?
"How is it unsafe to touch in one sector and not the other?" she asked.
I listened carefully to @DlaminiZuma during the press briefing held last week hoping for clarity on what the film & television sector was expected to do with regards to getting back to work. Alas, no answers. The regulations on filming for local production are dangerously vague.— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) May 3, 2020
The only form of transport to set for many crew members is public transport. Where cast transport is provided for actors it is always shared with up to 3 actors being transported in one small vehicle. 🚩— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) May 3, 2020
I am in no way saying that film and television must not return to work. People need to get paid. What I need to see is a clear commitment to strict tailor made health and safety protocols.— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) May 3, 2020
Rami was concerned that actors would most likely be encouraged to sign the "standard" indemnity form which would basically leave them on their own should they contract the coronavirus while at work.
She created a thread with some of the clauses actors are likely to find in these contracts. Which basically spell out, "you are working at your own risk" and "may the best immune system win."
However, she added that she understood that in an economically-straining situation that most artists find themselves in, the reality was that they would most likely sign anyway.
"We all want to earn a living akere. We need those episodes too. Also, we love our work. Go work guys, this (thread) is just so you know and don’t get shocked when you’re liable for doctor’s fees. You’re willingly taking the risk and can’t come back to sue anyone. Go work but be safe," Rami said.
Read the full thread below:
....that I understand and appreciate fully the risks, hazards and dangers involved with being present in the workplace during the COVID 19 pandemic...— Rami Chuene🌈🏳️🌈 (@ramichuene) May 4, 2020
... I accept the 'standard employment conditions of contract' of Producer and I voluntarily assume the risk inherent in choosing to work during the COVID 19 level 4 lockdown and I, together with my heirs, executors and administrators hereby release the Channel and Producer...— Rami Chuene🌈🏳️🌈 (@ramichuene) May 4, 2020
....executors and administrators arising out of my participation in the television production or in any related activities irrespective of whether such claim or claims arose through the negligence of any person, or from any of the risks, dangers...— Rami Chuene🌈🏳️🌈 (@ramichuene) May 4, 2020
We all want to earn a living akere. We need those episodes too. Also, we love our work. Go work guys, this is just so you know and don’t get shocked when you’re liable for doctor’s fees. You’re willingly taking the risk and can’t come back to sue anyone. Go work but be safe.— Rami Chuene🌈🏳️🌈 (@ramichuene) May 4, 2020
At least this production put a document together so you know where you stand. The worst are Producers who have you back at work and they haven’t made their intentions clear. And when kak hits the fan, you get surprised together. Ask them, it won’t be a pleasant surprise for you— Rami Chuene🌈🏳️🌈 (@ramichuene) May 4, 2020
Meanwhile, actor Zola has called out to all artists and contributors of art in the entertainment industry to "shut down" until the minister of arts, culture, and sport takes the matter "seriously".
The actor said without unity, the plight of artists was far from over, and that they needed to come together if the situation was ever going to improve.
"Fellow artists, thespians, and freelancers. I propose a shutdown on all entertainment sectors until the minister of Art and Culture takes us seriously. In America they all unite. I repeat in America they do one scene for three days, thina 18 scenes in one day. Where is our tax going if we are recognized. Many will keep quite because they are scared or bancenga ispani. This needs to stop," he said.