One spoon of rice, half sweetcorn and carrot is what background actors on Uzalo are being served. The budding actors’ hunger to make it in the industry extends to hunger on set, they say. They claim to be discriminated against because they are not the main actors or up in the hierarchy.
Drinks reserved for main actors
And hopes of washing down the meal were dashed when they were told “juice and water is reserved for the main crew of actors, video editors and lightning guys”.
Uzalo is one of the popular and most watched dramas on SABC 1. It airs on weekdays from 8.30pm.
Several actors, who want to crack it into the acting industry, told Sunday World they were shocked when they were subjected to what they call “ill treatment”. All the while main actors get served better food with chicken or beef and salads.
Shabby treatment is a new thing
A budding actor, speaking on condition of anonymity said: “This shabby treatment started last week. I thought it was a temporary thing but it has gone on until this week. I was expecting a better service since Uzalo is one of the big productions in the country.”
Another actor said: “I have been to The River [soapie] as an extra but the treatment was out of this world. Not once did I feel uncomfortable [like I do not] belonging to the family set up.”
Another source said he sympathised with the background actors because the production is currently experiencing financial challenges. “Remember not so long ago a story about actors getting paid late emerged. That tells you there is a mini crisis within the production.
“Things have not fallen into place the way it was envisaged. The production bosses advised that belts must be tightened until the situation gets better.”
Uzalo spokesperson Nomfundo Zondi was sent questions but has not responded.