TBILISI, DFWatch – The script writer for a new TV show has broken off his cooperation with businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili, due to threats against his family.
Zviad Bliadze was recently signed up to be the writer for an animated satire show that is to be financed by Ivanishvili, called Dardubala. But his family members were threatened that they would be fired if Bliadze went to work on the show.
“I’ve been repeatedly told from family members that if I don’t leave Dardubala, they will be fired from work,” Zviad Bliadze explained in a statement.
Bliadze is a well-known Georgian actor best known for his role on a comedy show. Some years back he worked together with journalist Shalva Ramishvili. In the early 2000s they made waves through the show Dardubala, which was aired on Rustavi 2, then an independent TV station. The show poked fun at the authorities during a time of a growing democracy movement which ultimately led to the ousting of president Eduard Shevardnadze.
Then Shalva Ramishvili founded his own station called TV 202, and after the rose revolution the two of them continued broadcasting the show on TV 202 as Dardubala 2, but now making fun of president Mikheil Saakashvili. This continued until 2005, when Ramishvili was arrested and accused of trying to extort a ruling party politician while making a documentary. The station was acquired by the government, and the show has been off air since then.
After that, Zviad Bliadze has been working on several TV shows on different channels, until it recently became known that he was going to be script-writer for a resurrected Dardubala 3, an initiative from businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili in connection with his recently launched political campaign to remove president Mikheil Saakashvili and his key people from government as well as boost the free media.
“I want to live in a country where I will do a job that I think is correct and it does not violate the law,” Bliadze writes.
He also broke off a cooperation with Ramishvili about the lively political show “Without Accreditation” on Maestro TV. Ramishvili yesterday evening explained on his Facebook page that his script writer had left after being intimidated.
“This is a very bad country. Misha [President Saakashvili] takes not only his job or freedom – he takes the honor of this talented man, Ramishvili writes.
As DFWatch has reported, Bidzina Ivanishvili recently criticized Maestro for being ‘Saakashvili’s Channel’ in his two open letters, particularly addressing Shalva Ramishvili and offering him to cooperate. They later met, and agreed that the journalist will renew his old TV show which Ivanishvili will finance.