“How I lost lead role with Majid Michel” – Ruby Ojiakor
Ruby Ojiakor is a Nigerian Nollywood actress and movie producer, an entrepreneur and a brand influencer. She is known for her stunning beauty and talent.
According to the 29 years old actress, Ruby Ojiakor, she has experienced instances of being propositioned for sex in exchange for a role in the film industry. She recalled an occasion when she refused a marketer’s advances, causing her to lose the lead role in a movie, despite filming having already begun. She believed her rejection of the offer would not affect her involvement, but unfortunately, the filmmakers subsequently replaced her in subsequent scenes. The actress disclosed that she was acting opposite Ghanaian actor, Majid Michel, who was paid more to reshoot the same scenes with her replacement.
Ruby Ojiakor’s experience sheds light on the issue of sexual harassment in the Nigerian movie industry, a topic that has been discussed for many years but still remains prevalent. In an interview, she revealed that she has been approached several times by male producers and marketers who offered her roles in exchange for sex. Ojiakor’s case is not unique, as many other actors and actresses have also faced similar situations in the industry.
In Ruby’s case, she lost a lead role in a movie because she refused to sleep with a marketer who had promised her the part. She was already filming for the movie when she turned down the request, and she believed that it would not affect her participation in the project. However, she was surprised to discover that the filmmaker had replaced her with someone else in subsequent scenes. It was not only a huge blow to her career but also to her confidence.
Furthermore, Ruby revealed that she was supposed to act alongside Ghanaian actor, Majid Michel, who was paid more to reshoot the same scenes with her replacement. It is disheartening to know that talented actors and actresses like Ruby are often subjected to such degrading experiences in the industry, and many of them are forced to compromise their values to advance their careers.
In recent years, several actors and actresses have come forward to share their experiences with sexual harassment in the Nigerian movie industry. While some filmmakers have taken steps to address the issue, more needs to be done to create a safe and conducive working environment for all industry professionals. Ruby’s bravery in speaking out about her experience is commendable and highlights the need for more awareness and action on this important issue.
“I remember when I was called for a job in Enugu and we shot it for two days. I was supposed to be the female lead character in the movie. The marketer that owned the job wanted to ‘get down’ with me. But, I told him I could not do such a thing. I thought that since I had started shooting some scenes in the movie, nothing could be done to me and he cannot cancel my scenes, which I shot with Ghanaian actor, Majid Michel, then.
I also felt Majid would not want to re-act the scenes he had done before. Those factors made me think that the producer’s decision to change me would be fruitless. But to my surprise, I was not called to continue my scenes. When I challenged the production manager, he said I should not be angry because someone else had been called to play the role. I was not given any reason for being removed from that project.
I asked if Majid agreed to re-shoot those scenes, and I was told he was paid extra money to do so. That was how I lost a movie role because I refused to sleep with the owner of the movie. The scenes I had already shot were wiped out from that movie. That was a painful experience, but I have moved on.
I don’t think anything can be done to stop sexual advances from filmmakers. Some people have tried to report them, but it has not yielded any positive result. When an actress reports an offender, she is practically setting herself up for a fall. The offenders know themselves, and if one person reports any of them, they would gang up against that actress in the industry, and she would not be getting movie roles. It is just like a cartel. The best thing is to train oneself and be firm that even if others are doing it, one will not do it. That was what I did.”
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