A Nollywood actor, Desmond Elliot, has come under fire for urging the federal government to place a ban on foreign films in Nigeria.
The actor called for a ban on foreign films ”for Nollywood to thrive” during an interview with Nigerian entertainment channel, HipTV.
The 45-year-old film star, said, “The federal government needs to consciously and intentionally focus on improving this industry. Treat it like you’re importing rice, ban all foreign content and make it difficult for all foreign content to come in, so the local content can grow.
“And then, you need to support (financially) the music industry, you need to support the film industry… even the comic industry as well…”
The actor made the remarks when the interviewer asked him how he thinks Nollywood can be improved.
Although the actor also highlighted the imminent challenges in Nollywood in the interview, his earlier comments calling for the ban appeared to have taken the front burner.
Some Nigerians on social media said though they feel the actor meant well for Nollywood and his colleagues, his approach was faulty.
His comments led to a heated debate on social media.
But Elliot is not the first Nollywood actor to call for a restriction of foreign content in Nigeria.
In 2017, Nollywood actress, Stephanie Linus, also called on the Nigerian government to create policies to reduce the saturation of the local media with Mexican Telenovelas.
Elliot, who was influenced by a friend to become an actor, is one of Nollywood’s leading actors, having appeared in over 200 films including ‘Men Who Cheat’, ‘Yahoo Millionaire’ and ‘Atlanta’.
In 2008, Elliot co-produced and co-directed the movie “Reloaded” which received three nominations at the African Movie Academy Awards.
He ventured into politics and is currently a lawmaker in Lagos State.
See some Twitter reactions to his statement below:
"Government has to ban the importation of foreign movies so that Nollywood can grow. Make it difficult for foreign content to come in, so your local content can grow" – Desmond Elliot.
God who did we offend? 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/cIV4mtbano
— Ugonnia (@AustinYugo) July 22, 2019
Desmond Elliot says we should 'build a wall' so foreign movies don't infiltrate our space.
What happens when that helps the growth of the film industry then everyone decides to close their borders to our art?
NB: He's not making sense. It CAN'T help anything.
— Baban Talk (@BabanTalk) July 22, 2019
So Desmond Elliot wants to literally limit our IQ to nollywood? Every child born from now will have to believe that blood money is a source of wealth or your step mother is the problem of your wife’s barrenness. #DesmondElliot
— Ocean (@oshimirii) July 22, 2019
Someone said the full meaning of ODE is Olushola “Desmond Elliot”. pic.twitter.com/4t4gTvcMmk
— Obembe Of Abuja (@TheRealObembe) July 22, 2019
Desmond Elliot, you have fall my hand. Have you forgotten that we have Netflix and piratebay, can govt ban that too? pic.twitter.com/3I3e4bYajG
— Peacemaker (@iamebendavis) July 22, 2019
Desmond Elliot is such a waste to humanity,
So you want government to ban foreign movies, yet your only constituency project was to build a toilet
Better Have sense oo pic.twitter.com/qzchf5dVyB
— Port Harcourt last born⚪ (@Ekpemoriri99) July 22, 2019
– How can someone leave the village and come to the city, and within 6months you are a billionaire..did you include traffic in that 6months?🤷♂️It can only happen in Nollywood
You want to reduce our brain to Talopa Chief 🏃♂️🏃♂️🏃♂️🏃♂️#Desmond Elliot pic.twitter.com/DxBEowE8r8
— Golden Links💎 (@Collins3356) July 22, 2019