Sunday 17 February 2019

Should TV presenters who are election candidates lose their job?

In my last blog post I wrote that Claudette Pace was the producer of Sellili so she would not be losing her livelihood if she is not the presenter, because she would still have a job behind the camera. As it turned out, I was under a mistaken impression.

I sent Claudette the following questions:

I was under the impression that you are you still the producer of Selllili (with deemedia being co-producers). Is this correct? If not, does this mean you sold the concept of Sellili to deemedia (after all this was your brainchild). 

Are you employed by deemedia just to be the presenter?

And if so is there no way you can be still employed behind the scenes on production rather than as the presenter so as to still have some form of income? 

In answer to my questions, Claudette has replied as follows:

“No I am not the producer of Sellili , are the producers. Cliche Media & Entertainment (my husband and I) are the owners of all rights related to Sellili. This means that Deemedia do not own the right to produce Sellili without our consent. As to what I can do behind the scenes, or in front (for that matter), we are taking legal advice and will act accordingly.”

This does change things slightly, for if Claudette’s contract is to be the presenter, then even have been put into a difficult position – they do not have a presenter for the programme, and they cannot replace Claudette without her consent.

What is curious about this whole incident is that according to law, programme presenters are only required to stop appearing on a regular basis once the writ for the elections is issued. So far, we have not had an official announcement about the election date, so technically, Claudette Pace is correct – at this point, she should not have been stopped from presenting.

It is also still not clear where this decision is coming from. Is it coming from the Broadcasting Authority or was it a direct decision taken by PBS?  It was Claudette herself who  mentioned “the constraints that have been imposed by the Broadcasting Authority” in her initial press statement, and yet the BA have been strangely silent about the whole thing.


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