MultiChoice to continue airing ‘Dinner at Somizi’s’ amid intellectual property theft allegations
MultiChoice has responded to the intellectual property theft allegations levelled against Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung’s hit show Dinner at Somizi’s.
In a press statement sent to IOL Entertainment on Tuesday, MultiChoice spokesperson, Benedict Maaga, said the company was aware of the allegations against and had reached out to Hastings Moeng, who had made the accusations.
“MultiChoice is aware of the allegation made by Hastings Moeng in relation to Dinner at Somizi’s.
“When content is commissioned from producers, as in this case, MultiChoice obtains undertakings that all intellectual property rights in relation to the show have been cleared.
"We reached out to Mr Moeng a week ago to discuss the matter and we await his response. We are also engaging the show's producer,” read the statement.
The channel also indicated the allegations would not “impact” on the broadcasting of the show.
“This claim will not impact on the airing of the remaining episodes of the show,” said Maaga.
This comes after Moeng’s 2014 email emerged on social media. In the email, Moeng shared a cooking show proposal to Mhlongo-Motaung, which never materialised. However, the ideas on the email somewhat mirror Mhlongo-Motaung’s popular TV show Dinner at Somizi’s, which is currently airing on 1 Magic, DStv channel 103.
Mhlongo-Motaung and Nkululeko Manqele, the executive producer of the show, have come under fire following these allegations.
According to emails shared by former 702 radio host Eusebius McKaiser, an email was sent to Mhlongo-Motaung and his associate Themba Zuma in July 2014 — proposing a weekly lifestyle and entertainment TV show titled Dinner kwa Somizi — that would see the Mhlongo-Motaung cook with local stars while he engaging them on interesting topics.
In his proposal, Moeng stated the had had the idea of the show since 2010 and was hoping the duo would assist him bring the show to life.
“Please receive this as an expression of interest to partner up with you on the idea. I’ve not done a show before, though I am confident that between us we have a database of the right people to bring this to life,” wrote Moeng.
He added: “‘Dinner kwa Somizi’ is a weekly lifestyle and entertainment talk show that sees South African all-round entertainer Somizi Mhlongo chat to fellow entertainers over dinner. Each episode captures the drama that goes into preparing each meal as Somizi and his guest seat it up in the kitchen before the actual seat down.
“The guests will be an eclectic mix of idols and icons, the new kids as well not so new kids in the SA showbiz,” stated the email.
Some of the proposed guests included rapper AKA, TV host Minnie Dlamini-Jones, veteran actress Lillian Dube and radio personality Dineo Ranaka.
IOL Entertainment reached out to Mhlongo-Motaung and Manqele for comment but didn’t receive a response at the time of publishing.