A Nigerian actor, who was part of a recently released Malayalam film, accused the film’s producers of racial discrimination and paying him “far less” than what Indian actors, “who are not half as popular or accomplished as I am”, would “normally earn”. The producers of the film, Sudani from Nigeria, denied the allegation. Samuel Abiola Robinson, played a key role in the film, about an African football player and a football club manager in Malappuram where African footballers come to play for local teams.
On Friday, a day after he left Kerala, Robinson wrote on Facebook, “…I believe that I was a victim of racial discrimination while in Kerala. It was nothing violent or directly in my face but for my role in Sudani from Nigeria, the producers offered me far less money than Indian actors who are not half as popular or accomplished as I am would normally earn.” He wrote, “I am of the opinion that this happened purely because of my skin color and the assumption that all Africans are poor…”
In a statement, producers Sameer Thahir and Shaiju Khalid said that they drew up a contract with Robinson after “giving him a clear picture about the low-budget nature of the film”, and about his fee. “He entered into that contract after he agreed on paper with the remuneration,” they stated.
“ It is distressing…racist undertones or interpretations are attributed to this,” they stated.