In a show of solidarity, actor Seun Ajayi called out men in Nollywood who make life on set unbearable for their female colleagues. In an impassioned video shared on his Instagram page this morning, the actor recounts situations where male actors have harassed female colleagues and crew members.

“I see this a lot, and whenever I get a chance, I speak about it,” Ajayi said. “It’s very important for us to let women feel safe in their work environment, but the truth is if we really really check am, we dey mess up.”

Ajayi’s rant is coming following the allegations of sexual harassment against Nollywood director and producer Victor Okpala, who, for years, has targeted young girls trying to break into the industry. In some of the screenshots, which you can see below, Okpala refers to one of his victims as “my baby,” and when his advances were rejected, he told her, “you don’t know what you just missed. This is a lifetime opportunity.”

“I went to sleep agitated, and I woke up with my heart beating very fast because I could not wait to address this,” Ajayi continued. “Many times, I will see male colleagues harass ladies on set. There was one time I was on set; it was so bad, this guy was constantly commenting on this girl’s bum and groping her. Everybody told him to stop. I told him to stop, he didn’t until he was officially written by the girl’s lawyer.

The actor spoke on the different forms of harassment, from actors who make unwarranted touches to those who comment on their female colleagues’ bodies.

Ajayi further made a plea to producers to put an end to harassment on their set: “Also, producer, directors, if you notice a crew member or actor is harassing someone sexually, address it, nip it in the bud.”

One of the reasons sexual harassment in Nollywood has gone on for long is because the so-called “good men” have turned a blind eye to it. Male actors don’t call their colleagues out enough. Also, Producers and directors fail to address such nuisances on set, leaving ladies to defend themselves.

It is an epidemic that has gone on for far too long, and we are hoping Okpala’s case be the catalyst for the belated Nollywood #MeToo movement.

Below are reactions from different corners of the industry.

You can watch Ajayi’s full speech below.


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