Renowned Nollywood actress, Mercy Aigbe, has candidly recounted a distressing episode of sexual harassment that nearly forced her to abandon her acting career. During an interview on the TVC talk show ‘Your Views,’ Aigbe revealed the challenging incident that unfolded in the early stages of her journey in the film industry.
Aigbe disclosed that, after expressing her interest in acting to a Surulere-based producer, she was invited for an audition for an upcoming film. Despite successfully navigating three audition stages, she was assigned a minor role that deviated from the character she had initially auditioned for. When she protested, the producer informed her that the director did not recognize her and suggested that she become closer to him.
The actress shared that the producer had previously made advances towards her, but the situation escalated when he attempted to touch her during this particular encounter. Feeling insulted, Aigbe asserted her self-worth and firmly rejected the inappropriate advances. The incident left her emotionally drained and prompted her to question her pursuit of a career in acting.
Recalling the pivotal moment, Aigbe stated, “I thought if that was what it took to be an actress, I did not want to be an actress anymore. I tore the script and eventually left. On my way home, I cried because I had left a well-paying job to join Nollywood, and I was already a single mother at the time.”
Despite encountering such a traumatic incident and facing other challenges within the industry, Aigbe demonstrated resilience and perseverance, eventually ascending to prominence in Nollywood. Her story underscores the prevalence of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, sparking important conversations about the urgent need for systemic change to foster safer environments for aspiring talents.