FEELING EXPLOITED

Pay actors for reruns, urges Tahidi High's OJ

He was ignorant of the broadcaster's reuse rights when signing contract

In Summary

• He says Citizen TV is continuing to earn from the show while some actors are broke

Former Tahidi High Actor Dennis Mugo alias OJ
Former Tahidi High Actor Dennis Mugo alias OJ
Image: Courtesy

Former Tahidi High actor Dennis Mugo, alias OJ, has called out his former bosses at Citizen TV for using his content and photos, yet he is no longer working for them.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, OJ says it is unfair for TV stations to continue using filmmakers' content, while they do not award them.

OJ says despite the show making a brand name for him, some issues need to be addressed to protect the upcoming ones.

 
 
 
 

"After I left Tahidi High, someone told me they saw me on TV and I was like, I am no longer there. Only for me to realise they were repeating the show without telling me," he said, adding that they even had some altercation with the bosses.

"They explained to me that the contract we signed said they can do anything with that content. That thing still hurts me to date." 

OJ says the reason he has spoken about the issue is that talent being his shamba, he is not happy when people reap from it yet he is not gaining.

"It is where I get my daily bread," he said.

"When we started acting, we were told to sign a contract that said, 'We as the company are allowed to use your image', but it does not tell you for how long. That means they will be making a coin from you even when you are dead."

He says there are reruns of Tahidi High and out of the many years, some actors have died.

"Derrick Amunga is not alive. Can you imagine the kind of pain his family feels when they see him on screen yet they are not getting anything?"

 
 
 
 

Another reason why he thinks the contracts need to be changed is that during his time, there were no strict ethical guidelines for TV.

"A character you portrayed on a show that did not have certain ethical guidelines and so you could do or say anything," he said. "Like nowadays, you can't smoke on a show, which is good.

"In those days, we could give our messages as raw as we could. We did and said some things to make the show good, but now some of us are working in big positions in government and even the corporate world. You are bringing their ego down."

OJ says the contracts were not fair to them and need to be checked out. "If they continue using our content, they should award us, especially during this corona pandemic," he said.

"They should make us proud. I met a friend called Jane and she was like 'I see myself on the screen' but in our area, I am broke and people keep asking me, what happened?"

OJ says some filmmakers could even fall into depression because your image is on TV but you have nothing just because you signed a contract many years ago.

OJ currently works for the Embu government in the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, specifically in the Talent Academy.