“SHOCKER: Filmmaker Says You can’t Make It in Nollywood if You’re not a Prostitute,” reads the headline from The Cable Lifestyle, the online outlet which Atuma granted this scoop to and published on Friday.
If you don’t have the patience to read it, I’ll provide a condensed version. Basically, the director wants you to know that actors are using what they have to get what they want, and this isn’t bound to a particular gender. The industry is controlled by pimps and gatekeepers who decide how much fame and fortune an actor in the film industry can amass. “Even some of the guys who can use their a** are the ones making it in Nollywood.” Atuma said.
That’s some tea right there but it’s not piping hot, it’s not even anywhere near the frothy, outrageous gossip of that early-year Quincy Jones interview published in GQ, and even in Vulture. It’s all bark and no bite. And this is me playing devil’s advocate. But it has received a small backlash. Ruth Kadiri, the actress who has starred in movies like First Class and Over the Edge, dragged Atuma on her Instagram for rubbishing her hard work and industry. “If you have nothing to say please don’t grant interviews.”
A lot of us work too hard to be placed into a general category and insulted by a practitioner Mr Pascal I am not a prostitute. I do not sleep with men for money or lifestyle… I feel offended. I am an ACTRESS and a PRODUCER I am successful and I am not a prostitute. SIR. If u have nothing to say pls don’t grant interviews… slamming us all and generalizing based on the lifestyle of few is very wrong. @pascalatuma.
Atuma’s Cable Lifestyle exclusive is coming weeks after Paul Obazele said Nollywood is ruled by homosexuals. Something has upset these men, and perhaps for Obazele who has gone past his prime and relegated to the background. But I have a theory, one in which Obazele and Atuma have been rejected via the casting couch and that rejection has calcified into bitterness.
Personally, I feel prominent and highly-positioned players in the industry who exchange favours for sex should be called out, whether they are gay or straight or whatever. Gay people are everywhere, from sports to medicine and mining, and for Obazele again, I sense his homophobia neatly tucked in diplomacy. Until names are dropped, and the industry keels over, all these will only remain as metaphorical tea.