Isidingo writer defends Oscar storyline

Actor Izak Formeel.Actor Izak Formeel.

An Isidingo storyline inspired by the Oscar Pistorius trial has set tongues wagging, with many accusing the soapie writers of being insensitive

Head Isidingo writer, Rohan Dickson, has defended the story line, saying the intention was to get people talking as they have done with other controversial stories in the past.

“It wasn’t the kind of reaction we were expecting. We tell stories to entertain the audience and the way that we work out what is going to entertain them is by looking at what people are talking and thinking about. Isidingo has always been a show that reflect the issues that are being discussed in the country,” he said.

Dickson adds that people have been thinking and talking about the Pistorius case for months and this is what inspired the writers to incorporate something similar into their storyline.

“We were inspired by the theme of the trial, not the facts, and right now people are talking about crime and guns,” he said. And since the soapie has always reflected on any topical issue, this was no different to any other story.”

Dickson says this controversy has been good for the brand and he’d be surprised if the ratings did not go up as Isidingo has been trending on the social networks for the entire week and this is the kind of reaction the team wanted to get.

“That Isidingo connects with its audience whether they like the storyline or not is not a priority, but if they are talking about the show, that’s already good for us.”

So how far can writers go when it comes to storylines and do storylines ever impact negatively on a show, we ask Dickson?

“We would never do anything that hurt our brand and I don’t think this is hurting it – I think it’s doing us an incredible amount of good. All we are doing is showing the audience what they are interested in and we are either proved wrong or right and them watching proves that they are interested. People are watching and their venting shows that,” he says.