The Foreign Affairs Minister whilst campaigning against the Ghanaian actor in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency said: "parliament is for serious minded people and not people who have done some movies and think they are popular".
The member of parliament for the Anyaa-Sowutuom constituency who toured the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency with the President, also emphasized that "it is a serious place; I will tell him; the laws of the country are enacted in parliament".
"If our President can continue his job very well, he needs Lydia Alhassan in Parliament to do the job so that all you need as a constituency will be easily given to you," Hon. Shirley Ayorkor-Botchway concluded.
However, her comments have been marked as derogatory to the players in the Creative Arts sector. At the back of this, Ghana Actors Guild via a press statement released, has called on the Minister to retract and apologize.
The Statement Reads;
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
RETRACT AND APOLOGISE FOR DEROGATORY REMARKS
It is rather unfortunate that in a period where people are critically thinking of strategic moves to make to better their lot as citizens of Ghana, we have had to respond to a very shameful and repugnant comment from Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway.
This distasteful comment goes against, not only John Dumelo, but an entire industry that has contributed enormously to almost every sphere of nation building.
Acting is as equally a respectable profession as any other. Ironically, It is the perfect profession to matriculate from into parliament. You learn how to suspend people’s belief, pull them in through their emotions, then mavel at your performance once the cameras are off and the curtains are drawn.
We, as Actors, are very valuable citizens of this nation with equal rights, therefore, the comment made by Madam Shirley Ayorkor against John Dumelo, one of us, is quite disappointing. This statement makes us ponder on her high level appointment.
In nations where the great potential of the sector has been properly attended to, these nations have benefited to a gargantuan level. In spite of the lack of institutional support framework, distributional barriers and a defunct intellectual property right regime we have continuously contributed significantly to the country's GDP and GNP which is overly enjoyed by "serious people in serious professions".
If actors are not meant to be taken seriously, why do politicians come to us for endorsement, and not to the people in other professions they consider "serious"? We represent the people and the country at large. The people listen to our spoken and unspoken languages and above all, we set the trend and pace.
The industry, which is called showbiz (show business) is not just about entertainment. One needs to be well equipped with a high level of intelligence to be able to make it in the industry. Any individual who doubts this averment should accept our challenge and dare to pick up a script and attempt to act and would realise that acting is not for weak minds who think loosely. Many people have tried acting and failed miserably at it before looking to other avenues for sustainability. Grabbing lines- written by another person, impersonation, researching a character and acting it out to the admiration of many, does not just happen. Most people immediately go into a state of panic the moment a camera is put on them.
Many of our perform their sterling acting prowess, have greatly contributed to placing Ghana on the international map of entertainment. For all the achievements many performers have chalked, we deserve to be commended and not trolled. Not everyone has the know-how to build something for themselves in the country we find ourselves in.
With these said, we would like to advise the minister and the general public to desist from such shameful and derogatory remarks on our members. We insist that, if she is to be considered as worthy of her tag of Hon., she should render an unqualified apology to the filmmaking and The creative fraternity in its entirety for the verbal disdainful comment she made. We would be forced to respond in equal measure, if she refuses to do as advised by 3pm on aTuesday, December 1, 2020.
This press statement does not, in any form, suggest that we support a particular party or candidate. This is in the interest of our dearly distinguished members and an industry that cannot be toyed with any longer. We anticipate that common sense will prevail and to a large extent change the narrative regarding actors.
Long live Ghana.
SCREEN ACTORS GUILD GHANA (SAGG)