Money-for-roles: Film practitioners call Murphy Afolabi to order over extortion

Murphy Afolabi has been accused of offering movie roles to upcoming actors for money. It is alleged that the Yoruba film producer is notorious for taking such advantage of vulnerable talents in the industry.

In a statement released and signed by Rapo Ewenla on behalf of Ibadan Film Circle, the IBF coordinator condemned such act. The letter reads this:

It has come to our notice that Mr Murphy Afọlabi, a filmmaker working primarily in the Yoruba sector of Nollywood and ceo of Fatuns School of Art and Drama, recently held auditions for his forthcoming film, Ọmọ Ọdẹ in Ibadan late last week, having earlier had one in Oshogbo and also has plans to go round major locations in the South West for the same purpose.

Our findings reveal that activities surrounding the audition process are patently fraudulent, unprofessional, deceitful and against the spirit and ethics of film and theatre practice. Major in Mr Afolabi’s activities this regard are his request and acceptance of

i. payment of a pre-Audition fee of one thousand naira from every candidate

ii. payment of another ten thousand naira “expression of interest” fee by successful candidates who succeeds at the Auditions.

May we reiterate that acts such as these tarnish the image of the Nigerian film industry and the reputation of its practitioners. We are forever ready to resist such.

We recall that about two and a half years ago, our organisation mobilised well-meaning Nigerians to physically stop the same Mr. Murphy Afolabi from going ahead with another money-for-role ‘audition’ in Lagos. We refrained from inviting the police to intervene in the matter at that time because of Mr Afolabi’s promise to turn a new leaf. Recent happenings indicate otherwise.

We are compelled by this new development to call on Mr. Murphy Afolabi to:

i. Refund all monies collected in regard of the ‘auditions’ already held in Ibadan and Osogbo;

ii. Post a public apology directed to the individuals he had obtained money from concerned and to all professional art/media organizations in the country .

ii. Desist from charging money in respect of other audition sessions slated for other venues in his current film project

In the event that Mr Afolabi fails to do the aforementioned in the next 72 hours, we shall have no option other than to invite the full weight of the law on him for obtaining under false pretence, and also institute various processes of sanctioning him and his company through appropriate enabling laws of several media regulatory bodies in the country.

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