Theft claims, 'discussions' & a legal battle: What you need to know about the Somizi drama
South Africans have flooded Twitter to react to plagiarism claims levelled against TV presenter Somizi Mhlongo.
The star has been accused of stealing the ideas for his cooking show, Dinner at Somizi's, which airs on ShowMax and 1Magic.
Here's what you need to know:
How the allegations started
Screenshots of e-mails allegedly sent by producer Hastings Moeng to Somizi in 2014 and the show's producer Nkululeko "Legend" Manqele in 2016 went viral on Twitter on Tuesday night.
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In the proposal, Moeng apparently proposed celebrity guests which include Mshoza, Minnie Dlamini and Somizi's mother, the late Mary Twala, who would have appeared in the last episode of the first season.
The show will go on, says MultiChoice
Company spokesperson Benedict Maaga said they reached out to Moeng last week to discuss the matter. He said when shows are commissioned from producers, the company "obtains undertakings that all intellectual property rights in relation to the show have been cleared".
Maaga said the remaining shows will be flighted.
TshisaLIVE saw a letter of demand addressed to MultiChoice, claiming that Somizi and Moeng agreed in 2015 that the show was "commercially viable" and should be pursued.
Moeng's lawyer says his client wants MultiChoice to acknowledge theft of his client's intellectual property.
Nkululeko told SowetanLIVE that his legal team is handling the matter.
Social media reactions
Many have called on the SA entertainment industry to open up opportunities for new talent. Some have called on Somizi to break his silence and give his side of the story.
Here's a glimpse into the responses:
At worst - this is a PR nightmare for Somizi and Legend, as well as Channel, threatening all those amazing sponsorships behind the show. But also, this is SA - nothing is a scandal here.— MC Motse (@Moz_MCM) September 15, 2020
Let’s put aside the idea not being unique as you guys say, don’t you think the least Somizi could’ve done was to involve this guy in executing the show? Ethically, that is. I mean naming the show as the guy proposed is proof enough that he did take input from his proposal.— Phume (@phume22) September 16, 2020
This Somizi thing is the reason we watch the same People on tv forever. there is really something very wrong with South African television if you watch Mzanzi Magic they might be 10 different dramas but the same actors,i feel like am watching the same thing really.— Kamo Marven (@AkeMarven) September 16, 2020