After it was announced that BasketMouth, Thomas Gumede and Boity would be the hosts of MTV Africa’s Ridiculousness, some people came out in their thousands to voice their disapproval at the rate in which talent is recycled in the entertainment industry.
Tweeps who were not impressed with Boity receiving yet another gig on television sent a wave of frustration on social media which lead to the #OpenTheIndustry debate.
Social media users questioned why the same personalities are constantly being hired for new gigs in the industry when there’s a pool of talent waiting to be tapped into.
The same question surfaced when Vuzu announced their new presenters Dash, Nomuzi Mabena and DJ Speedsta. The public voiced their opinions and questioned why there weren’t any auditions opened to the public.
The debate is currently going on, on social media as Twitter peeps question the decisions made by the gatekeepers of the South African entertainment industry.
SABC can't have 3 girls on all channels, switch to radio, still them. Buy magazines, still them. Then on commercials 😩 #OpenUPTheIndustry— Wolf of Recruitment! (@Basetsana_Pule) April 27, 2016
I remember my days doing theatre. But the industry changed severely. Hustle is not a thing anymore. It's who you know #OpenUpTheIndustry— IG: KenjiMilano (@KenjiMilano) April 27, 2016
Unlike music, the TV ind is tiny & the money is as tiny...Production needs to pull a crowd, artists need to eat. Catch22. #OpenUpTheIndustry— Gugulam (@GuguNdabezitha) April 27, 2016
Listen, they have auditions, we get invited to these auditions but that's just a formality. They know who they want 😞#OpenUpTheIndustry— Jade. (@JadeTraci) April 27, 2016
Many valid points about the reusing of talent were expressed on social media, a clear indication of the frustration that many who have been trying to break into the industry have been having.
But is it fair to then attack the ones hired for these jobs? We think not.
I like this #OpenUpTheIndustry topic as long as it is not used to launch personal attacks on those hired. Address those with hiring powers.— Emperor of Umlazi (@MaBlerh) April 27, 2016
In February, ZAlebs interviewed actress, Zikhona Sodlaka and asked for her opinion on the re-using of talent in the South African industry. This is what she had to say:
"I don't necessarily think re-using actors in South Africa is a local problem but a universal problem. But at the same time, it's a catch-22 type of situation because now you have people who are professionals in this trait with limited work," she said.
"So those that have been working for about five years, and the work that comes, they get it because there is no other work that they can be getting in the first place.
"The nature of filming is tricky. We're not sitting in a country that has got fifty productions booming in the middle of the month and another new fifty next month.
"So perhaps people who are already working in the field would want to work with people who already have a great acting resume.
"It's the same as having the CEO of Telkom being poached to be the CEO of Eskom and then poached to be the CEO of MTN. But because this is something we get to find out in the newspapers nobody talks about it.
"So the exact same thing happens in different industries, it's just that those industries are not made public and that's not fair for people who work in the public world." Said Zikhona.
Join in the conversation with us. Are our local entertainment gatekeepers hindering new talent from flourishing?