Nollywood producer/director Obi Emelonye is formally issuing an apology to Nollywood superstars Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde for recent “misquoted” comments he made about them.
Reports recently surfaced online that Obi gave the reasons why Genny who starred in Obi’s “Mirror Boy” and Omosexy in “Last Flight to Abuja” are currently jobless.
He was quoted to have said;
“Genevieve and Omotola are the two biggest actresses we have in Nollywood. They cannot afford to charge less than their status and that is where the problem comes in. Their charges are probably above what the industry can afford. Their charges are like half of the entire production budget of a movie, so which producer can afford that?
What they can do now, as it is with other big stars all over the world, is that they should begin to fund their own productions and act in them. They can act whatever role(s) will enhance their brands. They need to start a production company now and push themselves because they need to remain relevant and must not be seen as jobless. If corporate bodies perceive them as jobless, they won’t want to do business with them and might even price them cheap.”
Obi who called the two stars to personally apologise has released a public statement via his publicist Theodora Ibekwe.
Read it below;
I woke up over the weekend to a barrage of online reports of irreverent and disrespectful headlines about Genevieve and Omotola that were attributed to me.
Without delving into too much details, my private conversations in my house with a friend; talking about what Tom Cruise did when he stopped accepting lousy film projects from the big hollywood studios; has been misquoted, misconstrued, taken out of context and blown out of proportions.
I want to state firstly that I hold these two titans of our industry in complete veneration. (Even the misquotes could not hide that fact). I am also grateful for their unique contributions to the great success of my collaborative projects with them.
Secondly, let it be known that in the time I have known Genevieve and Omotola and in all the dealings that I have had with them, I have never for once said a misplaced word about them, privately or publicly. I have neither betrayed the confidence of their friendship nor tried to gain cheap PR fodder from confidential information I may hold.
The initiator of this cruel stunt has coined stupid headlines to attract attention to themselves. I guess they have succeeded. However, I am not going to give them further relevance by naming them to the world. So I have decided take full responsibility for my naivete in being so indiscreet; something I am not known for.
I have already personally apologised to Omotola and Genevieve for my part in this silliness. It is with their permission and without intending to stoke the fire of this publicity stunt, that I am writing to clarify the situation and also to personally and publicly apologise to the millions of fans and supporters loyal to Genevieve and Omotola who have been scandalised by this perversion.
I have had a rewarding professional relationship with these two icons of our time; based on mutual respect and it is my wish to preserve that. I sincerely hope that this wholehearted and public show of contrition would be enough for Omotola and Genevieve (and their fans) to rise above their legitimate anger about this and forgive a friend who values them more than words can say.
We learn everyday. Mia culpa! Mia maxima culpa!
God bless you all.