In every industry, women encounter one form of sexual harrassment and the other and the entertainment industry is not any different.
While many actresses have revealed that they have been sexually harassed by one or more producers, some say that they have never encountered any form of harassment.
Veteran actress, Steph Nora Okeke, in a chat with BroadWay TV said that she had once been harassed by a producer. In fact, it was one of the reasons she left the industry for a while and also the reason she started an NGO.
She decided to speak out now to make people know that sexual harrassment does exist in the entertainment industry.
Yes I (experienced sexual harassment) did and that was one of the things that spurred me to set up my NGO. If I say I did not, I’ll be lying. Maybe over the years I’ve held it back, over the years, I’ve tried not to talk about it because my family said, ‘let it go.’
Yea, I was harassed. I was harassed by a very foremost producer who actually put a knife to my neck. I actually left Nollywood at a point. After that happened, my family said, ‘that’s it, enough of acting. You can now go look for a job.’ Because they never really supported this acting thing. My dad thought it was a hobby that will be done on the side along with the main thing.
A producer lured me to his house, told me to take off my clothes and put a knife to my neck. What is worse than that? That’s not to say all the producers are like that. That’s not to say that every actor who made it to the top went through that but I went through that and I kept it bottled over the years but I’m talking about it now because I realise that a lot of people are being enabled by the silence of people who can speak up.
A lot of people are doing things and they get it swept under the carpet because somebody is afraid to talk. The same way a woman is living with a man and he’s battering you and you just keep quiet. The same way you’re in a relationship with someone and the person is abusing you in all ways and you just put it under the carpet. A lot of times, girls grow under abuse but they are too ashamed to come out with what they are going through and they just hide it because the society will say what were you doing there, how did that happen. A lot of things. So if someone says there’s nothing like that, it’s a lie. I’m saying there’s something like that.