Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung: 'I did not steal anybody’s concept'
Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung took to Instagram Live on Thursday night to address the allegations of intellectual property theft that came to light this week.
The “Idols SA” judge went on IG Live and brought several people on including Pearl Thusi to address the claims made by Hastings Moeng that the idea of “Dinner at Somizi’s” wasn’t originally his.
Kicking of the live with Pearl, Somizi said that Hastings approached him verbally in 2013 about a cooking show.
However, he declined at the time since this was before he became a judge on “Idols” and he had no idea his career would pivot into cooking.
In reference to the emails, Somizi said that he never received an email from Hastings and that he in general doesn’t handle his emails.
Somizi address Dinner At Somizi drama, he claims he never opened the email and they didn't communicate with Hastings. pic.twitter.com/xvC45DOT4w— Goodwill Thomo (@Goodwill_Thomo) September 17, 2020
Stating that his PA, road manager, manager and his agency handle his emails and the email address Hastings sent it to was one Somizi says he hasn’t used in years.
Furthermore, saying that Hastings only mentions a cooking show with not clear direction and that they never finished the idea.
“He could have copyrighten the idea right and sold it to anyone", said Somizi.
Thereafter, he spoke about how the concept of the show came about. “So I started falling in love with cooking.
“Then I started my own YouTube Channel. Then Legend called and says no don’t do a cooking show, we’re gonna do a TV show right.
“Legend came with an idea, I did not like it...I want something that speaks to me, that is me.“
He goes on to specifically talk about the part of the show he conceptualised, with Somizi even saying that in general the overall premise of his cooking show isn’t an original concept.
He even named several other people with similar types of shows.
Pearl then explained that the impression she got from the emails Eusebius Mckaiser posted on Twitter was that the show was pitched to Legend Manqele who is the producer of “Dinner with Somizi’s”. And that Legend was the one being accused of stealing the concept.
On 2 September 2016 Hastings Moeng wrote to Legend (the current producer) with a synposis for #DinnerAtSomizis . You can see the treatment synopsis below. And judge for yourself.— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) September 15, 2020
Why is IP theft so rife in entertainment? Multichoice is being coy despite being shown this. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/A8Nwnu7Haa
The “Queen Sono” star followed this up by asking if Somizi has a personal relationship with Hastings, to which he said, ”I know him...we’re not that close but I know him.”
Somizi said that Hastings could have contacted him personally to resolve the issue in a better way.
Additionally, the performer cautioned creatives in the TV industry to protect their intellectual property and to protect themselves legally. However, he did go on to emphasis that he had no ill feelings towards Hasting, and that on some level understood where he was coming from.
Somizi brought one of his fans, Noni Sparkle, on the live to talk more how he deals with criticism.
He reiterated that he didn’t steal the concept for “Dinner at Somizi’s”.
“I did not steal anybody’s concept and I will never again claim I came up with an original concept. I was inspired by a whole lot of shows.“
After that he had two more people on his IG Live, however, due to a bad connection not much was heard and he ended it since he felt he said everything he needed to.