The executive producer of Morula Pictures, Mfundi Vundla, has come under fire following his comments on the protest and subsequent axing of 16 actors from his show "Generations" back in 2014.
Vundla has since been accused of implying that the axed actors are not doing well since leaving the soap.
Generations actors went on strike following a wage dispute. Their demands included better pay, royalties from episodes that had been rebroadcast, and three-year contracts –– as they'd been working on yearly contracts. At the time, the actors also said that the intensity of their work schedule meant they were not able to do other work to supplement their income.
Vundla then fired them. All of them.
During his interview on the Weekend Breakfast on 702 with Phemelo Motene, Vundla said: "Some of those people whose careers were like jumping [at the time], where are they today? Most of them, where are they? They were on an upward trajectory with a show that was really doing well. Where are they today? The whole thing was stupid, and it's sad."
Reacting to the interview, some of the axed actors, dubbed the "Generations 16", were among those criticising Vundla for his comments.
So AFTER Mfundi fires me, I do Z'bondiwe, Igazi, Isidingo. Currently busy with Ring of lies and Broken Vows. And that's acting only. He mustn't get me started on the music. So what does he mean where are they now??? https://t.co/oX61TfG1a7— #Mamelani7July'17 (@NaakMusiQ) January 14, 2018
Senility is exhausting.. Mfundi is bitter because he had a gold mine & the gold left, leaving him where he belongs, in a dirty hole. We ought to oppose such ignorant, arrogant, entitled assholes & the systems that protect & encourage their shit! Where are we now? What an idiot!— #ThePrinceOfTheatre (@AtandwaKani) January 14, 2018
The biggest mistake we've made as artists, is this continued silence from our own.— Thami Mngqolo (@ThamiMngqolo) January 14, 2018
Artists in this country historically, have recoiled into their shells in the face of such challenges.
We weren't the 1st, ie:the likes of Tony Kgoroge vs Mnet, and certainly won't be the last.
I may have caught the wrong end of this conversation, but I CAN NOT believe that there are still people out there that believe that we have to forget about exploitation of workers and move on. Praising their downfall even. Sies man!— Calling (@Bizo_theB) January 14, 2018
Being out of Generations was a blessing in disguise. People discovered they could do more than just be on SABC 8pm. Big up to Gen 16. They are real fighters who are brave— Bongekile Ndaba (@Masengasile) January 14, 2018
Did anyone who is an actor listen to Mfundi's interview on 702? If you did...I'm sorry💔— Portia Gumede (@portiagumedesa) January 14, 2018
But not everyone was calling for Vundla's head.
Others felt his views were correct.
So you siding with the actors... The actors who destroyed Generations (Mfundi Vundla's Production) over royalties from SABC. Those people killed generations. I don't blame Mfundi— Ntokozo Dlamini Jnr (@uNtokozoDlamini) January 14, 2018
greed is what destroyed Generations. They wanted more than what they deserved. I don't blame Mfundi for what was done.— The Sober Deejay (@Vhu_CeaDeejay) January 14, 2018
What about the arrogance of the actors that were involved in this? The ones who had become big headed and had diva tendencies?— WOW Casting (@WOWCasting) January 14, 2018
The axed actors were:
- Anga Makubalo (MJ Dlomo)
- Atandwa Kani (Samora Lembede)
- Katlego Danke (Dineo Dlomo)
- Mandla Gaduka (Selwyn 'Choppa' Maithufi)
- Menzi Ngubane (Sbusiso Dlomo)
- Nambitha Mpumlwana (Mawande)
- Patrick Shai (Patrick Tlaole)
- Slindile Nodangala (Ruby Dikobe)
- Sophie Ndaba (Queen Moroka)
- Seputla Sebogodi (Kenneth Mashaba)
- Thami Mngqolo (Senzo)
- Thato Molamu (Nicholas Nomvete )
- Winnie Ntshaba (Khetiwe Buthelezi)
- Zenande Mfenyana (Noluntu Memela)
- Zikhona Sodlaka (Priska Nomvete)
- Zolisa Xaluva (Jason Malinga )
You can listen to Vundla's full interview here.