Isidingo distances itself from casting agency owner's 'racist remarks'

Isidingo, a television soapie aired daily on SABC 3, has denied working with a casting agency owner who has been accused of making racial slurs.

Talent Agencies owner, Mary Ann Miller allegedly made the racist remarks after she got into an altercation with actress Gugu Xofa in a WhatsApp group named "The revolution starts now".

"We at Isidingo distance ourselves from her racist remarks that she has made. We have never worked with this said individual as she has never provided extras for our show. We do not condone any form of racism," Isidingo said in a statement which was tweeted from its verified Twitter handle on Friday.

Xofa told News24 that Miller used racist remarks to insult her on Wednesday after she posted details of a workshop, for people who aspired to be in the television industry, in a WhatsApp group that included Miller.

She said Miller insulted her when she misspelled "classes".

"I then explained to her in isiZulu that English was not my mother tongue. She then started forcing me to speak English even though I had explained to her that it was not my mother tongue. She then started talking about [former president Nelson] Mandela. I think she is a racist," said Xofa, who added that she was with Miller's agency.

During their exchange of texts, Miller than went into a rant and posted a string of voice notes on the group.

"English is a universal language, the sooner you realise that the better because without us, you won't have jobs," Miller could be heard saying in one of the voice notes.

In another voice note, Miller said: "Remember your forefathers and our forefathers. We are not responsible for what happened to you, and you are not responsible for what happened to me. So, you want to stick by my side, fit in or f**k off. Those are my very good words because I'm only willing to help people that are rational and straight in their mind. Don't come with history and all the shit. It's not my problem. If it's your problem, go and take an Aids test or something, either than that stick by my back and you'll get work.

She adds: "You are black and it means that your skin is black. I am white because my skin is white. Why do we have to fight about this all the time?"

"You guys clearly did not get work, that is why you are frustrated on another group or something. If you have acting ability, you will be in an acting agent. Either than that you are just useless piece of people who sit on the street. So, go and find somewhere to belong and then we can talk."

"Don't send messages anymore, go and f**k off and go sleep in your little caves where you come. Maybe you can ask Mandela if he can resurrect you. Here we are trying to get work and we do work and everything, so you guys can go and sleep now, alright.

She then threatens to reserve jobs for her friends only.

"No more comes from my side. I'll only help my friends."

Miller told News24 she had been advised not to take any calls, "but I've got nothing to hide so I'll speak".

"Oh goodness! I can't believe this is happening. It's people who avoid calls and put their phones off that are hiding from something. I'm not hiding from anything. It is a complete misunderstanding honestly. I took it out on a wrong person. I'm not a racist," she said adding that the situation was out of control.

Miller further said she didn't want to fight and "if people want to fight with me, I don't want to fight either".