Nollywood Star Reveals How Movie Producers Sexually Harass Actresses
In this interview, actress, Sotayo Sobola speaks to the Vanguard about her experience starting in the movie industry and the pressure exerted on her by producers who were only interested in taking her to bed.
Read excerpts of the interview below:
We’ve been hearing of sexual harassment in Nollywood, has anyone ever harassed you sexually?
It is normal. That sexual harassment thing I keep hearing it every time. Sexual harassment is everywhere, not just in Nollywood, it happens everywhere even in Churches and Mosques. It now depends on you to make a decision if you want to buy into it or not.
Has anyone ever harassed you before?
Yes o, except I want to lie. That was a long time ago, like in 2004; it has happened to me before but I’m not going to mention names. I know one day I’m going to run into that person and look straight into his eyes again.
Can we share your experience?
I’ll give you an example. You’ve been cast for a role, you’ve been given the role and the next thing you hear is: ‘If you know you can’t come and meet me in my hotel room or come and date me then you should bring back my script’. It was part of the reason why I stopped acting English movies. I just stopped acting and went to complete my education. I had a diploma in Law from Lagos State University and got my first degree in Public Administration from Onabisi Onabanjo University. Because of sexual harassment I just stopped everything that had to do with entertainment. I was so discouraged.
You’re being casted for a role and because you refused to sleep with a producer or something, next minute you won’t even know, you’ll just hear that they’ve started shooting the job or they ask you to bring back the script for someone else.
Do you know anybody that has gotten a role by sleeping with a producer?
So many, I’m not going to mention names but it happens every day. Some did it successfully and some failed. Some did it and dropped it and some are still doing it, so, it’s a normal thing.