A scene from The World Unseen

The producers of Top Billing, who had been accused of homophobia for cancelling an interview with the director of a local lesbian-themed film, The World Unseen, have changed their mind.

Last week, Mambaonline reported that Tswelopele Productions, the producers of the glitzy show, had canned a planned interview with director Shamim Sarif because of the film’s subject matter.

“…it [Top Billing] is a family programme, with a family audience… it [The World Unseen] could sit better in a programme aimed at an adult only audience,” Patience Stevens, Managing Director of Tswelopele Productions, told Mambaonline at the time.

The film, about the growing attraction between two women, however, is not in any way explicit, and does not even include a sex scene.

Now, following growing mainstream media interest in the show’s snub of the award-winning film, such as that from the Sunday Times, Top Billing has decided to go ahead with the interview.

“We decided to do the interview with Shamim because the movie won 11 Safta Awards, and it would be unfair not to recognise this achievement,” Stevens said on Monday.

“The change of heart comes… two days after posted a story slamming Top Billing for cancelling the interview, and hours after the Sunday Times called for comment,” wrote Teneshia Naidoo in the Sunday Times.

Sarif, the film’s director, welcomed the move: “We are happy that they were open to our concerns and that they have agreed to publicise the film,” she commented to Mambaonline.

According to Top Billing, the interview was completed on Friday before Sarif returned to London. It is scheduled to be broadcast on the show on Thursday 26 February. The World Unseen is currently on circuit.

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