Penny Lebyane believes the 'boys' clubs' in showbiz have helped protect perpetrators

“They have always felt invincible, hence the arrogance. It's a cartel, a clique of messed grown a** men who've gotten away with so much.”

01 March 2021 - 14:00 By chrizelda kekana
Penny Lebyane talks about GBV in the entertainment industry and the #BoysClub that 'protects perpetrators'.
Penny Lebyane talks about GBV in the entertainment industry and the #BoysClub that 'protects perpetrators'.
Image: Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape

Using her personal experiences and observations as a veteran broadcaster, Penny Lebyane has opened up about gender-based violence (GBV) in the entertainment industry and how an apparent  #BoysClub exists to “protect perpetrators”.

Joining the heated ongoing discussions around GBV, the justice system and the treatment of victims and alleged perpetrators, Penny shared her perspective on how she feels the males in the industry have protected each other against justice taking its course by forming cliques.

Penny said her initial thread — encouraging victims to speak out — stemmed from her knowledge that there were several victims who are yet to speak out, due to having been made to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and she hoped they understood that the time to speak had arrived.

The media personality then went on to speak openly about the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of SA entertainment's “boys' club”.

I wanna talk abt the #SAEntertainmentIndustry #BoysClub that terrorised me for two decades. Initially l didn’t understand the M.O. I thought I was just paranoid and imagined things until one day they said it to my face. One who runs a record label said to me ...

"'You were part three of problematic women, two are dead and you are still alive ... will see for how long. Another who ran a radio station said ... 'You will never work at “my” station because how will my boy feel?' He continued to say “we” their cliques know he’s messed up but he’s our guy Penny!” she tweeted.

Penny explained that the “male dominance” within the entertainment industry made it easier for alleged perpetrators not to be held accountable for their abusive actions over the years.

The media personality claimed it was thanks to the “Boys' Club” that alleged abusers in the industry had evaded the justice system for as long as they have. 

“They have always felt invisible, hence the arrogance. It's a cartel, a clique of messed grown a** men who've gotten away with so much. They have destroyed lives, careers, marriages and souls. Some victims are living but dead, others literally died.”

Read the rest of Penny's thread below:

Last week, Penny sympathised with women in the entertainment industry who have been victims of various kinds of abuse and said she understood their decision to keep quiet.  

The media personality took to her TL to post a thread about the unnamed women who have opted to protect their careers and livelihood by keeping mum about the abuse they’ve endured in the industry.

“There are women in #EntertainmentIndustry who were victimised over years and made a personal choice to not speak to build and protect their careers. It's their rights to do so, I personally know their stories, some personally told me, I honour and respect them. It's hard to speak up ...” she said.

Penny said she had been a confidante to many of these victims and while she personally understood why they couldn’t speak out, she hoped the perpetrators in their scenarios would one day be brought to the book.

“Yes at times I do wish more could speak up but I fully understand their predicament. #FoodOnTheTable we got into the industry to work not to fight abusers that's not what why started what we do. Abusers must run.”


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