'Views expressed by Zodwa Wabantu are regrettable', says Moja Love

Image: Instagram/ZodwaLibram

Following calls for the TV show Zodwa Uncensored to be cancelled, the channel broadcaster Moja Love has issued an apology to the LGBTQI+ community. 

This comes after the reality TV star received backlash for her comments.

Johanneburg Pride also issued a statement yesterday, calling for Multichoice to cancel Zodwa's show and the Feather Awards to take back their 2017 Drama Queen of the Year trophy awarded to her. 

"Johannesburg Pride has reached out to General Manager Content for Multichoice South Africa to consider Zodwa Wabantu’s statements as hate speech and suspend her show with immediate effect pending investigation as we understand her show is uncensored however DSTV need to be mindful of the hate it is promoting.

Furthermore Johannesburg Pride appeals to the Feather Awards to strip Zodwa Wabantu of her Award issued in 2017. This must be a lesson to all media personalities and influencers to be mindful of how they conduct themselves and what they say," the statement reads. 

Controversial television personality Zodwa Wabantu garnered public backlash after stating on her show that gay men are "silly and think that they have vaginas".

“Gays are silly because they are fighting with women. Name one gay who has never fought with a woman in the industry. Their problem is that they [gays] are convinced that they have a vagina, while they have a penis. We [women] have [a] vagina,” said Zodwa. 

The station has accepted responsibility for its part in the debacle, commenting that its "talent" will be given the "proper tools and guidelines to enable them to understand the various dynamics that make up our society".

“The view expressed by Zodwa is regrettable and she commits to learning,” the statement reads. 

“Zodwa and Moja Love have since met with IRANTI [an LGBTQI rights group] to address the comments made by her during the show. It was established by all parties that the comments were not intended to come across as hate or discrimination speech of any sort.

"We will be creating content that would be informative and educational around the subject so that people are better informed and ensuring internal policy regulations are adhered to,” said Lindiwe Mbonambi, head of marketing and PR at parent company Siyaya TV.    

The statement in full reads: 

Moja LOVE values, loves and respects all South Africans and as an organisation we celebrate all the diversity that enriches our country. We do not condone any form of discrimination through sexuality, religion, gender and culture.

 Moja LOVE is a channel about universal love and we believe that love exists for everyone and is open to various interpretations. We are all about telling real authentic South African stories which are narrated by our people in their own voices and language. The stories are a reflection of the issues which society confronts daily.

The views expressed by Zodwa is regrettable and she commits to learning. As media and content producers we accept a measure of responsibility for this oversight and commit to generating edutainment and live reality stories that are based on dignity and respect. We convey our sincere and profound regret that these utterances have caused.

We have placed internal measures to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the future. Our channel talent will be given the proper tools and guidelines to enable them to understand the various dynamics that make up our society. We are currently working with a LGBTI rights organisation IRANTI on remedial actions and to ensure that education around the issue is promoted.

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