Authority of the Liberian Movie Union (LIMU) has expressed Frustration over government’s refusal to present a tangible appreciation to intentional Liberian actor Frank Artus, following the actor’s presentation of a double award to the government.
LIMU’s president, Martha Akorsah, said that the act by government is the highest level of “moral injustice” shown to a Liberian movie icon because Frank has done much to impact Liberia in a positive way.
“The action of the government has the propensity to kill and weaken the spirit of other actors to attain stardom outside, and they will find it discouraging to return and make a similar presentation to their beloved country,” she added.
Ms. Akorsah said the action of the government came as a shock and that it is disappointing that the Liberian government can’t even present a little token of appreciation to an actor in order to preserve his memory.
Liberia international actor Artus Frank received the Face of Africa and Humanitarian Figure Awards respectively from the Continental Award Committee in the US and presented both to the government on August 27, 2015, at the regular press briefing Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).
The face of Africa Award represents the most popular and most dominated actor on the continent for 2014 – 2015. The Humanitarian award is a contribution in the fight against Ebola and other services in the area of Gender-based violence, child protection, among others.
“We are calling on government to make up for this shame and embarrassment,” Ms. Akorsah said. “Government should immediately seek reservation and book a flight for his return.”
The president added that Frank Artus left the country with a heavy heart about what he couldn’t tell journalists and fans in Ghana.
“LIMU expected the government to follow the trend of Nigeria and Ghana who has offered the actor great gifts for making their country proud,” She stressed.
But in response to LIMU claims, Deputy Minister for Public Affairs at MICAT, Isaac Jackson described it as ‘cheap criticism’ that is intended to criticize government’s involvement when the actor came with his awards.
“We reject the claims and the way they are proceeding with this argument has the tendency to hamper the actor’s achievement,” Min. Jackson said.
Min. Jackson explained that the vice president Joseph Boakai hosted a dinner with Frank Artus, appreciating him for a job well done, and was gowned by the Assistant Culture Minister.
He said further the dinner with the vice president presented a clear picture that the creative sector needs more investment, and not the more tangible reward that the union leadership is seeking.
“It is not a tangible reward that matter but the special attention that government give to iconic actors,” Min. Jackson said. “Artus Frank is not looking for any token, this is the union doing it.”
He disclosed that the union could make recommendations to the president next year for her to see reasons to bestow an order of distinction on the actor.
Min. Jackson said this criticism will not deter government’s relationship with the union and their arms are open to working with the leadership and that he encourages them to remain focus for the big task ahead.