Quizzical Pictures, the production company that produces the SABC2’s “Lithapo” has responded to sexual harassment allegation by actor Lorraine Moropa.
In a press statement released on Tuesday, the production house acknowledged reports of sexual harassment allegations made against the cast member.
“Quizzical Pictures is aware of the sexual harassment accusation made on social media which pertains one of our sets.
“We take this issue extremely seriously. We subscribe to the Swift and IPO code of conduct.
“All the cast ad crew sign declarations against sexual harassment as part of their contract…We are dealing with this issue with the people concerned,” read the statement.
It comes after Moropa, who plays the role of Pabi on the telenovela, detailed sexual harassment allegations by a senior male colleague.
Taking to Instagram on Monday, Moropa spoke out for the first on the sexual misconduct by a fellow cast member. “Being constantly sexually harassed by a male senior at a workplace can not and should not be tolerated,” said Moropa.
Although the young actress did not mention the accused person’s name, she detailed some of the sexual acts that the cast member performed, including “grabbing their genitals on a set while looking at your ass or grabs your ass and laughs off.”
In a lengthy statement posted on her Instagram account, Moropa stated that the accused would do all these gruesome acts in front of the other cast and crew members.
“…yes my cases have always been in the presence of my colleagues). That to me is worse than a slap in the face.”
She continued: “This is a father, who also happens to speak highly of their daughter whom by the way, is practically my age and also in the industry.”
Moropa spoke strongly against sexual misconduct, condemning this kind of behaviour by male senior actors, producers and directors.
“What happens to our dignity as people in the industry if we allow such behaviour? I for one am sick and tired. IT ENDS HERE AND NOW FOR ME!!!!!,” said Moropa.
She continued: “I did not sleep my way into any role and I refuse for my process to get into this industry and cement my name just for it to be tainted by someone who has zero self-control or respect for us as professionals in the industry. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”
Shortly afterwards fellow actress Altovise Lawrence also opened up about her own sexual harassment by the same actor for “Lithapo”.
She said:” I stand in solidarity with @lorrainemoropa who has had the courage to come out and say that she has been sexually harassed by an actor on set. The same man that sexually harassed her, has sexually harassed me too on the very same set.”
Lawrence added: “He told me that I’m sexy. He has asked me how far down my tattoos go. He has undressed me with his eyes. He offered to furnish my apartment in exchange for sex. He has bitten his lip when I’ve exited the change-room. He has spoken about how great my ass looks in wardrobe (a pencil skirt in this instance); loud enough for cast & crew to hear.”
Lawrence said she had contemplated reporting the accused but she was afraid of “halting production, causing problems and creating tension on set.”
She also apologised to Moropa for not speaking out sooner.
“I’m sorry I didn’t speak out when it happened @lorrainemoropa. But, I’m saying something now. What happened was disgusting and it can’t continue.
I believe you. I support you. I’ve got you, sis,” she said.
The South African acting fraternity including Florence Masebe, Rami Chuene, Dineo Langa, Didintle Khunou, Masasa Mbangeni, Thuso Mbedu, Rosie Motene and Portia Gumede have rallied behind the two actresses, assuring them that they will support them till the perpetrator is dealt with accordingly.