Following outrage at the scheduled interview of rape-accused comedian Tol Ass Mo on 'Behind the Story with Pearl Thusi', BET Africa has decided to pull the episode entirely.
BET Africa has found itself in the midst of controversy after announcing the upcoming guest on South African actress Pearl Thusi's show Behind the Story with Pearl Thusi. South African comedian, Tol Ass Mo, who was scheduled to be interviewed by Thusi alongside his wife Mome, is currently facing rape charges brought against him by actress and model Lerato Moloi, EWN reports. The television network recently announced that it has decided to pull the episode allegedly "out of respect for the current environment, legal proceedings and the basis of impartiality."
Public outcry among South Africans on social media began shortly after Thusi tweeted a snippet of the recorded interview with Tol Ass Mo. In a statement released by Moloi, the actress and model details her alleged sexual assault at the hands of the comedian in 2014 while on set for a television production.
Moloi continues in her statement writing:
"I shared a bit of my silent experiences on social media in June 2020...In the past 2 month's (sic) I have been served with letters from his attorneys to remove my tweets...This culminated in an arrest warrant being issued against me and my subsequent imprisonment."
Given the alarming state of gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide in South Africa, and continued critiques that the government is simply not doing enough to protect victims of abuse, the interview became a major talking point. Individuals such as Rosie Motene and Simphiwe Dana have since come out in support of Moloi.
Many questioned Thusi's stance as an activist who reportedly supports women after she tweeted "...I'm an activist but that doesn't mean I'm a judge..." The actress went on to compare her situation with that of American broadcast journalist Gayle King who interviewed R Kelly last year. Thusi has since made this particular tweet unavailable under her now protected Twitter account. Below are screenshots of the tweet in question which were shared by a social media user.
Pearl Thusi has proven over and over again that she's unteachable. Yhuu 🚮 #muteBET_Africa https://t.co/xctAN0fck7— Luthando (@Luthando)1598158262.0
Others, on the other hand, came to Thusi's defence. The actress has, however, not yet responded to the news of the interview having been pulled by BET Africa.
ATTACK BET ATTACK BET ATTACK BET BET IS AN EMPLOYER PEARL THUSU IS AN EMPLOYEE AT BET BET AND IT'S MANAGEMENT A… https://t.co/h0TBERCcWJ— Cgb (@Cgb)1598178309.0
🚨🚨📣 Don’t weaponize (use women against each other @leratommoloi and @PearlThusi to make ur point. #LeratoMoloi is a… https://t.co/3jZPbNhmA7— PennyLebyane💚AppRadioMama (@PennyLebyane💚AppRadioMama)1598168639.0