The final episode of RED TV’s Inspector K just dropped yesterday. For those who don’t know, RED TV is sort of a hybrid media/advertising arm of United Bank for Africa, one of the biggest banks in the country. They join Ndani and Accelerate TV of Guaranty Trust Bank and Access Bank respectively to make the holy trinity of new media entertainment ‘challenging’ the stereotypical, often sexist film and television programming we collectively know as ‘Old Nollywood’.
But fear not, just because they have fancy names and big budgets behind them doesn’t mean that these new film makers are any better than the old ones. I’d even dare say that they aren’t as good, because at least the Old Nollywood was dirt broke and could feign ignorance about the sexist and misogynistic stereotypes they propagated.
RED TV’s new show Inspector K, joins a long line of new media shows that take on concepts they simply don’t understand, cannot do justice to, and proceed to make a mess of them anyway. Supposed to be part detective whodunit, part buddy cop comedy, Inspector K rests on the shoulders of Koye Kekere Ekun, who was whisked from his robust career on Instagram and thrust into the limelight. Koye carries the show and most of his fans with him, but his presence while charismatic, doesn’t do much for the rest of the show. The show’s writers set up this huge premise about a blogger who is killed for being ‘successful’ and need to give us a twist that surprises us.
Instead of taking out time (or hiring better writers) they do what Nollywood has always done when they cannot figure their way out of a shit plot, they threw in an effeminate gay man into the story. No, actually, they threw in one effeminate gay man and someone who could be a transsexual or a transvestite, we can’t be sure because they choose to refer, derogatorily I should point out, to this person as a ‘cross dresser’. Both men appear suddenly at different points in the show, have no other motives for being in plot other than moving the story, and are not treated as three dimensional human beings.
This is as lazy as it gets when writing a show.
Throw in a visibly effeminate gay man into a show, don’t mention that he is gay, ensure his dialogue is crampy and patronising and hope that the audience’s revulsion to homosexuality will do the rest for you. New Nollywood should be breaking down these stereotypes not reinforcing them.
Do your bloody homework, actually write something worth watching and leave gay people alone. It’s not too much to ask .