Sexual harassment in movie industry real—Stacey Mawuse

By: Della Russel Ocloo
Stacey Mawuse
Actress, Stacey Mawuse aka Boss Queen

FOR someone who has been in the movie industry since 2005, one would have thought Stacey Mawuse, better known as Boss Queen, would be a household name by now but that is not the case.

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Having attended hundreds of auditions with the likes of Beverly Afaglo, Elikem “The Tailor” Kumordzi, Gloria Osei Sarfo, Selly Galley, among others, who have gone on to become household names, Stacey is yet to find her place in the industry.

And perhaps one of the reasons for that is her refusal to sleep with producers for roles. Although there have been claims of producers demanding sex for roles, many actresses, especially the well-known ones, have denied ever being victims but Stacey says it is very real.

In an interview with Showbiz, the petite actress, who said she attended so many auditions so much so that she became known among producers as the ‘audition superstar’, claimed she had endured her fair share of sexual harassment from producers.

“I once told a producer that my talent is not between my legs, when he attempted to have me warm his bed for a role in a movie he was producing”, Stacey stated.

The producer, Stacey stated, called her after an audition, asking her to meet him at a hotel where he was supposedly shooting the movie, to fill in for an act that failed to show up, however, “it turned out that the producer had other motives,” she claimed.

In many of the instances, according to Stacey, the producers would often name some well-known movie stars they claimed slept with them to attain stardom, in an attempt to have their way with her.

“I have had producers telling me in the face that “until you allow us to sleep with you, you will never become a star”, she alleged.

She added that, “For me, it wasn’t all about fame but the passion to make a mark, so despite the sexual harassment and sometimes mean comments from producers, my faith in God kept me going”.

Now Stacey tells Showbiz, she is banking her hopes on a new movie premiered recently, titled Kukesi, to finally give her the breakthrough she has been looking for.

Stacey plays the female lead of a river goddess in the movie which focuses on incest, an abominable act in many African societies.

According to her, this was the most challenging movie she had done in her 14-year career.

Stacey, who was a contestant in the talent show, Ghana Movie Star by Nakwadus Productions, began her career with the popular television series, Yes Matron in 2005.

She has also featured in Theo Akatugba’s Tentacles, Master and the Maids, Adventures of A-Plus which are all television series.

She also starred in the internationally acclaimed movie, Freetown, which was produced by Adam Abel and Garrett Batty on the Liberian Civil war in 2015.

She also featured in Pricilla Anany’s movie, Children on the Mountain, which won an award in 2016 at the 15th Tribeca Film Festival in the United States.

Stacey, an old student of Oda Secondary School in the Eastern Region said the highest payment she ever received for her talent was GHC5,000 for her role in Freetown.

“I have had a situation where I was paid GHC500 for a role I played in a yet-to-be released movie, where I even used my own costumes because the producer claimed I was not an A-List act whose face could sell the production”, she said.

Stacey who holds a Diploma in Business Studies from Vitac Institute in Tema remains optimistic that although people had seen some of her works, Kukesi would make people know her worth.