This comes after viewers of one of the most watched reality shows took to social media to complain about Sunday’s episode – which features a lady who met her husband when she was 14 and he was 28 in which the man admitted he was targeting young girls for sex and subsequently met her. The show is accused of condoning or promoting statutory rape.
Absa announced their sponsorship withdrawal on Twitter: “Absa confirms that it informed Mzansi Magic this morning that we have withdrawn our sponsorship of Our Perfect Wedding with immediate effect”.
The announcement came after Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng laid a formal complaint with the Broadcasting Complains Commission of South Africa.
However, the channel still maintains that their “reality show reflects society as it is”.
“In the case of this episode, the couple’s past brought up uncomfortable social issues which the family and community, who were initially against the relationship, found a way to resolve.
At Mzansi Magic, we are committed to telling stories that impact our viewers and build our communities whilst challenging society to engage in meaningful conversations but we do not condone any unlawful behaviour.”
In the open letter titled ‘OPW, What a disgrace’ directed to the BCCSA, Dr Mofokeng explains how ‘disturbing’ and much of a ‘disgrace’ the episode was.
Read the full open letter:
OPW – What a disgrace
Dear Broadcasting Complaints Commision SA.
Rape culture is so normalised and in a country like ours with the type of statistics around rape and gender based violence it is highly disturbing what we were shown on Mzansi Magic last night.
Perverts and self confessed paedophiles get rewarded with a tv show on the channel and nobody in the production saw nothing wrong with the narrative.
Last night’s episode of “Our perfect wedding” on Channel 161 has shown a couple that met when she was a 14yrs old child and he was 28yrs old.
He proclaimed and very proudly that he used to “TARGET” school kids 3 to 4 daily for sex and even had a schedule on how to fit them in.
He explains how he waited for the after school rush.
I’m absolutely floored and horrified that no body in the production of this episode saw anything wrong.
Normalising these relationships and airing them on a platform as entertainment only benefits abusers and perpetrators of gender based violence.
This show is watched by more than 1 million viewers and in this audience are black children and women who are being abused and we have now ridiculed their abuse and are normalising it to further perpetuate rape culture.
There are paedophiles who now identify with the man profiled and have now been rewarded with a rubber stamp of approval for that behaviour.
It is now #16ofActivism against gender based violence and we are meant to be standing up for women and children who are abused. How is this episode in anyway assisting with this? How is this empowering to black women and children to stand up for what is right? When we air shows that use content of rape and rape culture as entertainment we spit on the face of the law and people who are abused.
The viewers need an explanation and the way forward on how this gross misjudgement will be redressed and a commitment to the victims that this will not happen again.
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng