Etv: Rhythm City Ep 2976 – 03/12/2018

Date: December 3, 2018
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Name of monitor: Mauwane Raophala
Name of Television station: Etv
Name of programme: Rhythm City
Date of broadcast: Episode 2976, 03 December 2018
Time: 19h00 – 19h30
Genre:Drama Series                                                                                                                                                                           Theme: Social: Cyber harrassment / Body shamming
GBV focus explicit or implicit? Implicit
Gem Classification: Gender Blind
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Brief description of scene:

In this scene Reneilwe talks to her boss about not wanting to do a job because she does not feel comfortable exposing her body to the public. Her record label boss, who is a artist herself pressurises Reneilwe into taking continuing with the job, even though she explicitly states that she is uncomfortable.


Reneilwe was cyber bullied after her friend (Mampho) posted a picture of them together on social media. This cyberbullying affected her self-esteem and career.

Why it has been given this GEM classification:

This scene is gender blind. Although the scene takes place between two women there is still a power dynamic at play. Reneilwe’s boss does not acknowledge Reneilwe’s feelings and gives her no choice but to continue with the job, which requires her to expose her body in ways that she is uncomfortable with, despite Reneilwe repeatedly stating that she does not want to. The scene perpetuates the idea that woman can only be one thing and they are not allowed to change their minds. Although, as her boss states, Reneilwe was comfortable exposing her body in the past, her recent body shaming has made her want to take a step back and focus on rebuilding her self-esteem Women should always have a choice and her boss should have been more sensitive to the body shaming and constant pressure put on all women to feel and be a certain way. Her boss should have given her a choice. Her boss also could have empathised with Reneilwe and addressed the constant pressure that women are subjected to when they have to make choices about their careers.


GBV is not the main focus in this scene. However harmful ideas about how women should react when criticised about their bodies are perpetuated. Women should always have a choice.

People in the programming.

In this scene, we only see only women speaking, Bongi is trying to convince Reneilwe to accept the photoshoot and forget about the people who are expressing mockery or criticism about her body. Bongi was advising Reneilwe on how to handle the situation and continue with her job, dismissing her valid insecurities and concerns


Bongi’s language towards Reneilwe shows little empathy towards her. She encourages her to do something because “that’s what sells”. She also conflates Reneilwe’s talent with her body. Her language does not recognise Reneilwe as a complex individual but commodifies her.


In this scene Bondi and Reneilwe are sitting on a couch discussing Reneilwe’s career. The women are in a casual setting implying that this relationship is not only a business relationship and perhaps the women consider each other friends. Thus Bongi’s reaction to Reneilwe confiding in her about her insecurities is even more unsettling.

Angles and perspective:

Women’s voices and viewpoints are the one which are heard in this scene because the scene involves women only. Bongi’s character could be seen as encouraging Reneilwe to ignore the body shamers but we see that this is not out of concern for Reneilwe’s feelings as Bongi frames it as a business deal. Although Bongi is a woman she is still speaking to Reneilwe from a male perspective and does not offer empathy and support as a woman. She is objectifying Reneilwe, emphasising the fact that her body is what makes her career and not her talent, and not giving her control and freedom over her own body.


This scene is classified as gender blind as it missed an opportunity to address how women should have control over their own bodies. It also missed an opportunity to delve into the intricacies of body shaming public figures and how they are often objectified without a recognition of their talent. Women should be allowed to act or look however they want without facing public criticism. Women should also not be shamed for posing naked as long as they feel empowered doing so and it is their choice.

Social Media Commentary:


 “I have always had a problem with my body thz part of Rene hurts me the diff s I’m skinny but this has t teach us t accept n love ourselfes b4 pipo tease us✊”

“Wow, the world has really come to this… To a point where it’s okay to pose naked, Reneilwe being uncomfortable with it and Bongi making it seem like it’s normal and she’s being unreasonable for not wanting to be naked on TV. It’s a sad world.”






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