Ghanaian actress Lydia Forson has disclosed that during the early stages of her career, a movie producer once demanded to see her breast during an audition.
“Earlier in my career just once, a small-time producer asked to see my breast for a role I was auditioning for and I said no, and walked out,” Lydia said in an interview with the BBC.
Forson’s comments come in the wake of a scandal involving powerful Hollywood movie producer, Harvey Weinstein, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct and rape from an ever-increasing number of actresses.
According to Forson, she stormed out after the unnamed producer made that demand.
She said such instances of sexual harassments are common in other professions, adding that many women face unrequited sexual advances from men in powerful positions.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s very common but it cuts across everywhere. Women are subjected to unwanted sexual advances from men in powerful positions especially who want to take advantage of their vulnerability,” she said.
“Especially in Africa where there’s a lot of poverty and people are looking for jobs, they know how to feed on people’s desperation.”
She also narrated the experience of a young lady who complained to her about unwanted sexual advances from movie producers.
“Just last week, an actress walked up to me and said she’s been trying to break up into the industry for several years but every producer wants to sleep with her and they named some big actresses that they slept with before giving them roles… and threaten them, to blackball them in the industry if they refuse to cooperate,” Lydia added.
According to her, the only means to end this abuse is to speak up.
Lydia Forson has several awards to her name including, the 2010 African Movie Academy Award Best Actress in a lead role and the 2012 Ghana Movie Awards Best Screenplay for the movie -‘In the Cupboard’.