Not Magic but Outrage

`Our Perfect Wedding` Episode is an Insult

2 December 2015

The South African Democratic Teachers Union adds its voice in protest at the airing of a glorification of rape in `Our Perfect Wedding`.

The fact that this was done in the middle of the country`s Sixteen Days of Activism Against Women and Child Abuse adds insult to injury and makes it an extreme outrage.

Anything like normalisation of rape is precisely what the Sixteen Days are supposed to be against.

We are happy to note that at least one of the backers of this show (ABSA) has withdrawn its sponsorship.

Shows of this nature are built around an unhealthy concept of role-modelling. Stereotyping can occur, with the appearance of having the full approval of a powerful social institution - television. Stereotyping is hurtful. It is equivalent to bullying.

For "Our Perfect Wedding" to then go to the further and gross extent of bringing rape into the picture means that the producers are cynical, to the verge of criminality.

Those who want to excuse it on the grounds that it exposes reality are misleading us. OPW is not a sincere documentary. It is a contrived, artificial, role-modelling, bourgeois-aspirational show, hardly distinguishable from an advertising commercial.

We find the apologies of Mzansi Magic to be completely inadequate. It is as if they are not aware of what they are doing, whereas we are quite sure they know exactly what they are doing.

Irresponsible, unconscious people should not be in charge of shows of this nature.

If this year`s Sixteen Days of Activism does nothing else, let it deliver a permanent setback to the cultural insults of television, especially, but not limited to, those that insult and demean women and girls.

Issued by SADTU Secretariat