In this bizarre case of a newspaper allegedly publishing a phantom interview the Nigerian media should do some soul searching.
According to the newspaper Ufuoma McDermott allegedly said this about rape. “Nigerian ladies have a lot to contribute to sexual harassment in this part of the country. If we will carry ourselves honourably and put a price on ourselves, we won’t be harassed; these men aren’t crazy, they will seek your consent before embarking on anything. Even rape cases can be avoided if one is careful and vigilant enough. Again, this affects every sector and not just the entertainment industry alone. Mothers especially, should train their children how to dress well, talk responsibly in the public, behave decently and other etiquettes of life, charity, they say begin at home…”
As the controversial statement started to spread, Ufuoma McDermott quickly released her own statement via her PR team denying she said this.
“The General Public is hereby notified that our Client, Ufuoma McDermott did not at any time grant an interview to the National Mirror Newspaper on the above subject. Further, our Client has not met and therefore could not possibly have granted an interview to the National Mirror Reporter, Yemisi Adeniran, on the subject.
“The National Mirror and its Reporter, Yemisi Adeniran, are by this Notice demanded to issue a public apology and retraction to our Client within the next 7 days from today. Failure to meet the above demand will result in legal action against the National Mirror Newspapers to redress this libelous, malicious and unprofessional publication” read the statement from McDermott’s camp.
The 7 day ultimatum hasn’t elapsed but National Mirror has not yet issued an apology. This sort of thing is a regular occurrence in Nigeria’s media industry. Celebrities have been known to deny making certain statements when an article or interview on them is published.
In February 2016, it was reported that actress Ruth Eze said that she can be a lesbian for Genevieve Nnaji and also that the super actress makes her wet. Days later she came out to deny this claim.
Who blinks first in this new incident. Could a newspaper fabricate a whole interview with an actress? From Ufuoma McDermott’s point of view this is what happened. If this is truly the scenario then McDermott should not only ask for an apology and retraction but also financial compensation.
If true then it is appalling to see how far the Nigerian media has sunk so low. Fabricating stories is horrible and against the ethics of journalism. A case like this should not be swept under the rug.
For decades celebrities have been complaining about either being misquoted or having their names attached to interviews they never remembered granting. The media has to be more responsible in regards to covering celebrities.
Ufuoma McDermott is most likely the latest victim of lazy and shoddy entertainment journalism in Nigeria. Sadly it won’t be the last until ethics and standard comes back into the profession.