Nigerian filmmaker, Pascal Atuma, has reacted to reports that he said only prostitutes and homosexuals make it in Nollywood.
According to an interview originally published by The Cable, Atuma said the ladies in Nollywood use what they have to get what they want while the men use their a*s to get what they want.
He was also quoted to have said that the acting business isn’t as lucrative as people think as some actors pretend to be successful, deceiving younger ones who want to become actors.
Atuma’s comment elicited several responses from the likes of Ruth Kadiri and the AGN President Emeka Rollas, who dared him to name one prostitute in Nollywood.
Reacting to the alleged comment via an official statement sent to Pulse, Atuma said his comment was totally taken out of context.
According to Atuma, who is currently in Moscow for a vacation and to support the Super Eagles at the ongoing world cup, he granted an interview to a journalist friend of his whom he has known for several years.
“He arrived at the venue with five of his colleagues from other media houses, and we sat down for lunch. The interview was centered mostly on football. After the interview, we all engaged in a light-hearted conversation about the changes in Nollywood. The conversation veered into how lots of producers and directors were taking advantage of young women in the industry, and at some point, I passionately berated some of them who have deliberately forced young women to compromise themselves for movie roles,” Atuma said in the official statement.
Atuma said he was shocked to read a story which claims that he called all successful women in Nollywood prostitutes, and their male counterparts homosexuals. According to him, he was misquoted and his comments were misconstrued to create a sensational story.
He added that he appreciates women and has no problem with anyone’s sexuality.
“Women have for eternity, been the pillars of our society. They are strong, fierce and resilient and the growth of our beloved Nollywood would not have been possible without women. As a father, brother and friend to women, I do not and would never take women for granted, and I also have no problems whatsoever with anyone’s sexual orientation. Since the story was published, I’ve had the chance to explain this to some of my colleagues who have reached out to me privately, and I would forever be grateful to them for seeking the truth.”
He expressed his ‘unreserved apologies’ to everyone who felt offended by the story, stating that he had no intention to undermine anyone’s hard work, and regrets the way and manner the story was put across.
Most of the people I would call my friends in Nollywood are women and men whom I have a lot of respect and regard for. I have never taken advantage of anyone throughout my entire career, and I strongly oppose it. This cause is even more dear to my heart as a father to a beautiful daughter whom I cherish dearly. What was supposed to be a call to stop exploiting women sexually ended up sounding otherwise,” he concluded.
Atuma’s controversial comment came weeks after popular Nigerian actor Paul Obazele said most Nigerian filmmakers are homosexuals.
It also came at a time when several actors have come out to say that working in the Nigerian film industry isn’t profitable enough to put food on the table or provide a life of luxury. According to Aremu Afolayan, the latest actor to speak on the financial state of the industry, acting does not earn one enough to buy a house in places like Lekki.
Atuma is a Canadian-Nigerian actor and director popular for films and series like “LAPD Africa Cops” and “Bloodlines,” “My American Nurse” and “Only in America.”