Lifestyle Tabloids earlier this week posted a tongue-in-cheek piece entitled ‘Zuma’s Housewives Reality Show To Launch On E.TV’.
The free-to-air channel has taken umbrage at the claim, although its threat of legal action has led to suggestions that the satire was lost on e.tv.
The channel’s group communications manager Matlapulana Ragoasha said claims “that e.tv plans to broadcast a reality show entitled Zuma’s Housewives is malicious, false and mischievous”.
Ragoasha said in a strongly-worded statement: “It is important to place on the record, the fact that e.tv is not associated with a programme such as this, which is disrespectful to the president or the office of the president of South Africa.
“We do not know if it is a publicity stunt with an ulterior purpose, or whether it was published with a more malicious intent, but e.tv wishes to express its disappointment and concern at the publication.
“E.tv will seek to find the company or individuals responsible for the publication and will most certainly take legal action as soon as we are able.”
According to SAPA, the channel’s recourse to the law might be fraught, seeing as the Lifestyle Tabloids article does state that the “entry was posted in Satirical” and that “publication of this article is protected by our disclaimer policy”.
The site’s disclaimer policy states: “Our Satirical category carries fictionalized, satirical articles. Its content, including quotes, should in no way be interpreted as an actual record of events, unless a story specifically states so.
“Articles published under Satirical category, though grossly exaggerated, are purely written to highlight the state of nations, celebrity and current affairs, and should therefore be regarded as humour. As such, they are not intended to be, nor should they be construed as, attempts to predict the future course of any individual or entity, but should be viewed only as parody.”
It remains to be seen whether the blog’s disclaimer policy offers sufficient protection should e.tv decide to act on its threat of legal action.
(Credit: Gallo Images)