Nollywood actor and filmmaker, Yomi Fabiyi, has been in the shackles for some time.
Last week, the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria suspended the actor indefinitely over a film he produced titled, ‘Oko Iyabo.’ The movie is believed to be about the allegation of sexual harassment of a minor levelled against another actor, Olanrewaju Omidina, aka Baba Ijesha.
Amidst all that, an actress, Bimpe Oyebade, aka Mo Bimpe, alleged that Fabiyi stopped casting her in movies because she refused to give in to his advances.
However, in an interview with Sunday Scoop, Fabiyi stated that being an actor did not mean that he could not have romantic feelings. He said, “How did she get a major role in one of my movies? She never came to me to learn about movies; she did not do any audition. I had already concluded my audition. She came to me as a fan and I decided to encourage her.”
Fabiyi also maintained that Mo Bimpe was the one who wronged him. He said, “She knows what she did that made me change towards her. I am an adult and I am free to be sexually attracted to anybody. At least, I am thankful to God that she never said I forced her. There is nothing that says that she has automatic roles (in my movies). I do not know the kind of entitlement she has to think she can always feature in my movies. I will take time to explain what she did.
“The first thing she did that made me change towards her was that I brought her into the industry in 2015 and on the last day of the movie shoot in 2015, she left and I did not set my eyes on her until January 2019.
“In between that, she had shot three movies. I do not know the kind of relationship she built with my sponsor, production manager and cinematographer. All I just heard was that she was planning a production behind me. What an audacity.
“I brought her into the industry because I wanted her to be great and known. I wanted her to have a career, so, why was she cutting corners? At the end of day, she called to tell me that she had a job for me. I told her that the person she gave the job, she knew him through me because he was my production manager. That was why I cut that person off from my production forever.
“She hijacked all my ‘backbones’ without consulting me. If she had asked me, I would not have stopped her. Why are you stealing what is yours? Several other things transpired but she can continue to tie it around the fact that she did not give in to my sexual advances.”
The actor also noted that sexual attraction was different from sexual harassment. He added, “Ask her if she made sexual advances to me and not vice versa. I did not notice her first. She was the one that noticed me. Besides, if we did make advances at each other, we are both adults. The most important thing is that there was no force. Do not make it look like because I am an actor, I do not have a right to have emotions or sexual feelings.
“Sexual attraction is different from sexual harassment. We need to educate these young people. We are talking about sexual harassment and she is talking about ‘toasting’. Is that not silly?”