Home Entertainment Filmmaker Athi Petela apologises to LGBTQI+ community for controversial statements

Filmmaker Athi Petela apologises to LGBTQI+ community for controversial statements

Athi Petela

The director of the new queer film “Trapped” Athi Petala admits that she may have used a wrong tone in her recent statements about not casting queer actors in queer roles.

Petela got a lot of flak from the LGBTQI+ community after a video clip of her responding to a question on cisgender heterosexual actors, playing queer roles, started making rounds on social media, over the weekend. In the video, Petela starts by explaining that she is “finicky” and “particular“ about her art and acknowledges that queer people exist in the creative space. If you’re not good for the story, queer or not, you’re not getting it”, said Petela.

Athi Petela

She added that “if you’re not great then there’s just not great work on your art … Don’t come at us with those condescending things of you could’ve cast a queer person, well you could’ve been great. Setting the record straight, Petela told IOL Entertainment she’s sorry her comments hurt so many people.

“I’m really sad at how the clips were interpreted. At the same time, I understand. Also watching it now, I realised that the tone sounded like that’s what I was saying,” says Petela.

She adds: “People were angry, rightfully so. So how do you put out a fire when it’s burning without looking like, you’re saying, ‘you’re wrong for thinking like that’. But that’s not at all what I meant. She further explains what she meant in her previous statements.

Athi Petela

She said: “If everybody comes forth to an audition for a queer role, I will probably take the person who embodies the character and does justice to the character, if they are queer, even better for me, because it’s a blessing, ideally, that is exactly what I would want.

So I was just basically saying, it’s a tricky one because, at the end of the day, you want to honour the character that you’ve written. And by that, I mean in performance, and if the person who does that is queer, you’ve won.

In other news – Emtee exposes former label mate

Emtee did not take kindly to DJ City Lyts Tweet, The award-winning rapper whose real name is Mthembeni Ndevu quickly clapped back at the DJ revealing some of the personal favours he has done for him.


I gave you a hit and a place to stay,” said Emtee in a now-deleted tweet responding to DJ City Lyts who tweeted that he is still waiting for Emtee to thank him for helping him out with Roll Up video. Learn more

Source: IOL