So, banyak kontroversi la this time from 8TV pulak. First of all let me first say that I am not angry. Buat apa marah, bukan boleh solve apa-apa pun. But I do feel terribly let down and sad. After all this stuff for fairness through Kempen Bersih, seeing people of all races walking together for a good cause, having all this slogans of 1Malaysia and all that jazz. Kena pulak tamparan hebat by a channel that I thought knew better then to air such an “insensitive and thoughtless commercial” said Fyin.
A little background regarding the commercials before I continue on. There are 3 commercials in total and all three run for about 30 seconds each (give and take la). In all three commercials the lead talent is a Chinese girl. The commercial is set in a busy food market where almost everyone is there to buy food for their buka puasa (it’s Fasting month for our Muslim brothers and sister). To learn more about Ramadhan I found an excellent article that you might enjoy: Why Do Muslims Fast During Ramadhan?
The first commercial wants to inform the public to be polite and discreet. They created a scene where the talent is talking and shouting very loudly to the stall owner asking about the food and making a total nuisance of herself.
The second commercial is asking the public to be considerate and not eat in public during fasting hours to help our Muslim friends with their fasting. They did this by getting the talent to buy food and then offer to share it with another girl who I assume is Muslim.
The third and last commercial was the funniest, her upper arms and chest were pixilated (for a moment I though she had hairy armpits) and proceeded to exclaim very loudly that SHE LOVES ATTENTION! This was to ask the public to dress appropriately when they are out and about.
Below is a video of the commercials, better have a quick look at it as I have no doubt that it will be taken off soon.
The Malaysian public were not amused, and this is coming from a country that loves slapstick/gag humor. Nothing is too tacky for the public, until now. Many were concerned that this would portray the Muslim community in Malaysia as uncaring and intolerant to other races. Others were offended that 8TV would think them to be so immature and insensitive to want to act like that in public towards their Muslim friends and family. In response to the public furor that ensued the CEO of 8TV Ahmad Izham Omar tweets out a very ‘sincere’ apology on his tweet. I think the man was trying to play it cool but unfortunately that backfired on him as well.
The poor man kena tembak (shot) from all sides! I’m surprised he’s not full of holes rights now from all the response that he has been getting. He has moved on to apologize formally in his twitter account but I think that has now become ‘water off the ducks back’. No one is listening and no one cares.
AND THEN, and then, and then, and then, and then they send out a second apology and this time it’s on their Facebook page:
Check out the first two comments. Lol!
Someone needs to double check the copy before they send it out to an angry public. When I read the apology note all I can summarize from it is: “I don’t think what we did was wrong but due to other parties misconstruing the intent and content of the commercial we apologize for it.” Now does that sound like a sincere apology to you? If one looks at the amount of cyber snorts of disbelief coming from those in Facebook, who are appalled at the temerity of 8TV writing such an apology, then the answer is a big fat no. There also seems to be an uproar regarding the channel being ‘racist’ from the public for using a Chinese girl in all 3 commercials and many feel that they should be boycotted.
Personally, I don’t think the commercial was terribly racist. However, I do think that it was poorly executed and badly planned which resulted in a very public backlash that I fear 8TV won’t recover from anytime soon. They would have to have a pretty awesome show to make up for this disaster (8TV if you need any ideas, call me). It’s a pity, since the idea of the commercial was good. I can see that they wanted to convey an commercial that humorous and at the same time, informational to create awareness among the public. Unfortunately, all it has done is raise the ire of the people, churning up emotions of disbelief and incredulity among the Malaysian public. When I say Malaysian public, I mean all the races and not just the Chinese.
What I think they should have done was incorporate several other lead talents who come from various races and backgrounds to head the campaign to avoid being branded ‘racist’. I think that if you are working in the entertainment industry and are in the public eye, you have to cater to the publics taste and wants to stay in the game. However, that brings in the added responsibility of ensuring that the content is relevant and real and not created in a way that would make the audiences feel as if their intelligence was being insulted.
So, I thought “Aiyah, instead of complaining I also make a commercial la” I mean what do I have to lose? I don’t think at this moment in time I would do any worse then 8tv.
with a splash of sense humor…actually I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did making it. Kalau ada perasaan yang tersinggung, like Ahmad said “Chill guys…:P ”