The cast of Night Watch at Belgrade’s Atelje 212 theatre asked the audience at the end of the Thursday evening performance to turn on their phones and record their proclamation.
Actress Jelena Stupljanin read out the proclamation stating that Serbian actors are targeted by insults, slander and lies about enormously high actor fees in television series.
The actors said they have come under attack because of their participation in the anti-violence protests.
“A campaign unprecedented in the history of Serbia theatre, film and television is gaining momentum. And these are places where we are paid salaries for our work,” said Stupljanin.
“Over the past few days our colleagues have been publicly marked, in various ways, as targets of lies, insults and slander. It began with an offer for them to leave their country and act ‘someplace else’, with lies about ‘enormously high’ fees paid to actors in TV series, and then we were labeled scum in the Parliament. Why? Because of the participation of many of us in peaceful protests against violence,” said Stupljanin.
She said the actors strongly condemn this form of violence against their colleagues and profession and believe that what is happening in the media space is a dangerous threat that could have serious consequences.
“Humanists of the world have said that the reasons states exist is to protect human rights. We expect our state to protect ours,” said the actors.
Attacks on actors started when a Serbian signer criticized actors starring in TV series produced by state-owned Telekom for protesting against violence.
She sent them a message saying they should not act in state-funded series and films if they want to protest against Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Her statements were fueled by senior official of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) Darko Glisic, who told the actors that they can go live in some other country if they are dissatisfied with the Serbian regime, while similar attacks on actors were also heard in the Parliament.
SNS MP Nebojsa Bakarec published what he claimed were very high fees paid to actors for their roles in Telekom TV series.
At a Parliament session, Natasa Jovanovic, also a ruling party MP, said actors are “scum.”