Monday, September 7, 2009

Television Hunger Strike gains Momentum

7 September 2009


What started as one TV producer expressing his outrage at the SABC’s slashing of local content by going on a hunger strike has gathered unprecedented momentum. As Michael Lee enters the fifth week of his hunger strike, three new hunger strikers have entered their second week and a fifth member has joined the campaign.

This is not a media prank, nor is it a death threat. The hunger action is a carefully considered, rational statement about the starving of an industry through mismanagement, arrogance and a lack of planning by the SABC.

The media is now invited to engage with the hunger strikers and to ask questions and hear their statements as well as their personal motivations. Photographers will also be given the opportunity to document the strikers.

When and Where
Wednesday 9 September at 10am at Atlas Studios, Milpark

Of further interest, the hunger protestors have started a blog at and request everyone to visit it. Furthermore, social network sites are growing with viewer anger at the SABC’s slashing of local content and its massive schedule of repeats currently running in prime time.


Disclaimer: Although not a formal action of the TV Industry Emergency Coalition (TVIEC), we continue to offer any aid we can to the protestors and will also be in attendance on Wednesday. We have requested that all hunger strikers receive medical attention and find it most unfortunate that the strikers have been forced to continue with their action, a clear sign of the desperation of our industry’s current situation.

Michael Lee is a member of the Documentary Filmmakers' Association (DFA) and the treasurer of the South African Screen Federation (SASFED).