For veteran actress Tetchie Agbayani, it’s important that showbiz celebrities share their opinions and feelings on social issues.
“They say that as an actor you should just stick with acting and stay non-political; but artists are also citizens of this country. You have a voice and a unique position in society. Because of their popularity, people listen to them,” she began.
“Whether you are a celebrity or an ordinary person, if you see injustice being committed – something that violates human rights or goes against your moral values - you have a duty to speak up. If you remain silent, it means you tolerate the wrongdoing,” she explained.
“It’s not that different from being a parent. If you see your child doing something wrong, you will naturally reprimand them. You can’t just choose to stay calm because you don’t want to feel stressed or because you don’t want to worry. It’s your duty to help make your child a good person,” Tetchie said.
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She added that choosing to speak out on important matters is a reflection of a person’s character. “It’s really up to you whether or not you want to speak your mind publicly. It’s hard for me to just stay calm when I see people getting sick or dying and when I see very little being done to prevent it,” Tetchie said. “How can you not react? I just can’t pretend to be blind, deaf and dumb. Now is not the time.”
Tetchie, who began acting in film and television in the 1980s, found that a lot has changed since then, particularly in terms of how actors are treated and promoted in this industry.
“Actors are very lucky today because they get a lot of support,” Tetchie said at a recent media gathering. “Those cared for by their home network can train and hone their craft. Therefore, when I work with these young talents today, I find that they really know and understand what they are supposed to be doing in relation to their craft. They are good at it when they are young.”
She continued: “They are also good looking, dress well and all have good manners. The support of their network is really extensive. This is so different from what happened in my day. Back then, you’re only signed for a certain number of films and then you’re allowed to leave when the last film is done with them. Overall, there was no one to take care of you, guide you, take you to acting or language classes.” INQ
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