Film producers in Nigeria have been warned against sexually harassing and extorting money from its members for movie roles.
The President of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Rollas, said in Lagos that a task force had been established to deal with such producers, warning that such producers would face harsh penalties.
Rollas gave the warning at the inauguration of the newly-elected executives of the Lagos AGN on Sunday night at the National Stadium, Lagos.
He regretted that some `mushroom’ production houses perpetrated the act in the guise of Nollywood business.
“We have affiliation with the military and police to picket these production houses to ensure that actors are no longer subjected to inhuman treatment just to get a role in a movie.
“We have got to a stage where we need to picket different production houses who have decided to use our members anyhow through sexual harassment and extortion of money.
“Acting is a big business; you are not helping anybody by giving him or her a role; rather, that person is helping your business to make money.
“We must understand the strength in our union in putting our foot to the ground to say that enough is enough,” he said.
Rollas urged AGN members to regularly attend meetings and be part of the activities of the guild in other to benefit from the many opportunities that the guild could offer.
He advised that members should make use of the AGN Mobile Application which would enable actors anywhere in Nigeria to access information from the association, pay dues and make registrations.
Rollas disclosed that AGN’s insurance scheme would cover an actor who suffered an accident while shooting a film.
According to him, the insurance cover is to the tune of N1 million for a permanent injury and N100,000 for minor injuries.
Rollas said that the Federation of International Actors in Belgium empowered actors to get money for their works as cable television stations aired their movies all over the world.
He also disclosed that the World Intellectual Property Organisation had differentiated producers’ right from actors’ right in terms of sale of a movie.
“No matter how much a cable television station buys a particular film from a producer, it can not show that film unless it also pays the people who actually acted it,” he said.
The immediate past Chairman of the Lagos AGN, Pedro Aganbi, appealed to the newly-elected executives to build on the projects initiated by his administration .
Aganbi said that his administration initiated many projects including 26 episodes of a television soap opera that had been fully produced and edited.
“We are also handing over a rebranded task force called the AGN police to monitor the activities of unpatriotic movie producers.
“We created an AGN Lagos Television which is on YouTube where our members can express themselves by uploading their contents,” he said.
Aganbi advised the newly-elected executives to utilise the AGN official website, containing the data base of all members in the last two years, to verify proof of membership.
He also urged the members to take advantage of AGN’s weekly fitness club to keep fit and stay healthy.
Meanwhile, the newly-elected Chairperson of the Lagos AGN, Moji Oyetayo, said that she was elated to be entrusted with the mandate of moving the guild forward.
Oyetayo, who is also the first female Chairperson, promised to work with the other members of the executive to change the narrative of the guild for better.
“I am taking over from someone who has left a very big legacy. It is a big shoe to fit in, and I promise to discharge my duties accordingly for the progress of the guild,” she said.