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Why Sex for Roles still Exist in Nollywood

-By Adeniyi Onifade

Sex for roles has become a phenomenon in the entertainment sector especially the Nigerian movie space popularly known as Nollywood.

The idea of sex for roles arises when competing roles are being given to individuals who don’t deserve possibly because they yielded to sexual gratifications of the producers.

There are many reasons attributed to sex for roles in Nollywood.

While some stakeholders believe that there is no justification fot actors/actresses being subjected to submitting their bodies before being assigned roles, others believe that some willingly offer their bodies to get prominent roles in Movies especially the female folk.

Speaking recently in an interview, Nollywood producer, Michael Kalu, confirmed that sex for roles exists in Nollywood for a couple of reasons and the female folks are majorly the victims.

He revealed that many producers and directors in the Nigerian movie industry demand to sleep with female actresses in exchange for a role in their movies.

Kalu said this during an interview at a recent red carpet event. “I can’t tell you that the sex for role syndrome doesn’t exist in Nollywood,” said Kalu who has worked as either a production manager or production assistant on more than 40 films.

“That will be a lie, some girls don’t want to work hard, attend auditions, castings and wait for their time to blow.

“They just want an instant rise to stardom and so believe they can get there with what they have as they use to say, and also some producers use their office to intimidate some of these girls too.

“So I will advise the ladies thespians to work hard and stop having that mentality,” he said.

He, however, cautioned producers on using their authorities and positions to intimidate actors with roles, adding that producers also should try to give roles to actors on merit”

He however said cases have reduced in the last five years because some well-meaning Nigerians have created platforms like Obylisious Empire Film, Academy and Tresurewells Academy that will not only train and equip the actors but also guarantee their breakthrough in Nollywood by creating jobs for them after their internship and shooting their movies with these trained actors.

“So I will advise our intending or upcoming actors to look for these film academies and enroll.

“This way, the sex for role syndrome will keep reducing since these academies also guarantee roles.

“As the third largest film industry in the world, Nollywood has been notorious for its sex scandals and not too long ago, Paul Obazele had asserted that gay persons have taken over the movie sector,” he added.

In recent times, there have been several sex for roles scandals in the Nollywood.

For instance, a Nollywood producer disclosed that a big producer/marketer once harassed her by caressing her breasts in 2015.

Also, Kannywood actress once went on Instagram to accuse a producer of denying her a role because she refused his sexual advances. However, the actress apologized the following day, describing her post as ‘childish.’

It has been projected that if Sex for roles scandals continue in the industry, it may lose its place in the league of major film industries as merit would be sacrificed for mere ‘Sexual advances’, hence not bringing out the necessary impact of the movie.

Currently, statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that Nollywood, one of the largest film industries in the world in terms of number of films produced, contributes about N853.9 billion to Nigeria’s GDP.