Veteran Actor Jerry Mofokeng Speaks Out on 'Influencer' Casting Controversy


Veteran Actor Jerry Mofokeng wa Makhetha Criticizes Casting of Influencers Based on Social Media Following

Renowned actor Jerry Mofokeng wa Makhetha has expressed his discontent with the current trend of casting influencers solely because of their social media following. During his acceptance speech at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA), Jerry spoke out against the practice, emphasizing the importance of casting actors based on their craft rather than their online popularity.

Jerry's impromptu speech came after Scandal, the show he is a part of, won multiple awards. Feeling that he was also a part of the Scandal family, he took the opportunity to address the issue. He stated, "Cast actors, not models. It's not about the number of followers you have. It's about the craft that you bring to the set."

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In an interview with Drum magazine, Jerry expressed his hope that his comments would not cost him job opportunities but stressed the importance of addressing this issue. He highlighted instances where influencers are imposed on directors due to their social media following, leading to special treatment on set. He mentioned their tendency to arrive late, focus on social media posts during makeup and dressing room time, and neglect the collaborative process of rehearsing lines with fellow actors.

Jerry explained that influencers often recite lines without emoting or fully embodying the character, which then forces genuine actors to tone down their performances so as not to overshadow them. He argued that talented and qualified thespians are being overlooked for roles in favor of influencers, leading to a decline in the quality of work produced.

Jerry's concern lies not in the diversification of the industry but in prioritizing competence and skill when casting. He believes there are capable graduates and experienced actors who are being overlooked, while influencers are given opportunities without the necessary talent or training.

He directed his request to directors, producers, and channels, urging them to consider the long-term impact of casting influencers based solely on their social media following. Jerry emphasized that viewers quickly recognize the lack of quality work and lose interest, undermining the purpose of using influencers to attract an audience.

Jerry Mofokeng wa Makhetha's comments highlight the ongoing debate surrounding the casting of influencers in the entertainment industry and the importance of prioritizing talent and skill over social media popularity.

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