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Criticisms forcing sexual harassment victims to shy away from reporting - Vicky Zugah

Actress Vicky Zugah has shed light on the deterrent effect of public criticism and skepticism, revealing that these factors often hinder victims of sexual harassment and abuse in the movie industry from sharing their experiences.

Vicky Zugah

During an interview on Showbiz A-Z on JoyFM, Zugah expressed the challenges faced by individuals who may want to speak out, especially when pressured for sexual favors in exchange for roles.

While acknowledging that the public generally encourages storytelling, Zugah highlighted the unpredictable responses and lack of assured support that victims may encounter.

She noted the tendency for critics to dismiss their experiences, suggesting that they are "messing up" with the lives of those who have moved on and are now married or in relationships.

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Zugah emphasized the complexity of navigating public perceptions, citing instances where victims are accused of bitterness or singled out for being unmarried when they choose to name and shame perpetrators.

The actress noted the risk of being blacklisted and having their experiences used against them in the future, particularly for women aspiring to various roles, such as marriage or political positions.

Despite these challenges, Zugah encouraged fellow actors facing such situations to share their stories and name the wrongdoers if they feel inclined to do so. She also acknowledged that some victims may prefer not to disclose their experiences publicly, opting to move on and put the past behind them.

The discussion arises in the wake of veteran actress Akofa Edjeani's revelation that she lost a movie role due to her refusal to engage in inappropriate relations with a film director.

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Zugah's comments align with the broader conversation on sexual harassment in the Ghanaian entertainment industry, prompting calls for measures to address the issue.

Bobby Banson, the Lead Consultant for Robert Smith Law Group, echoed these concerns on the same show, urging the Ghana Actors Guild to implement measures to curb sexual harassment, colloquially known as 'sex for roles,' in collaboration with the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG).

Banson proposed the creation of a legally binding written pledge to prevent harassment and ensure consequences for those who abuse their power within the industry.

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