The internet has been buzzing up a hell of a storm over Malaysian singer Choo Hao Ren, popularly known as Haoren. On January 24, Haoren released a music video, promoting the use of a whitening product with brownface.
Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, they decided to complicate it and make things worse for themselves.
Ultimately, the problem of the video lies with the actress portraying herself with a tanned look.
Throughout the video, she gets shown as someone who struggles with how she looks. Then comes in the whitening product to magically turn the actress into a fairer person, accepted by everyone.
Without even digging deeper into the portrayal of a literal brownface, it’s already a messed up way to tell people that if others don’t accept you for you are, then change accordingly.
The music video has since been taken down, and the singer has publicly apologised, rather poorly, for the situation.
He clarified that the video was intended to showcase a girl suffering from sunburn, and the product was a way to help her overcome those burns. And instead of understanding what went wrong, he also questioned if it was inappropriate to do a tanned makeup on an actor to represent sunburn.
Ignorance is Bliss.
I’m not exactly one to give the time of my day for social drama regarding artistes, but damn this must be the most ignorant incident I’ve heard in a long time.
First up, that’s a girl who got sunburned?
Are you seriously trying to convince everyone else or yourself? Did no one in the team conduct any real research on how sunburns look like in real life?
I can guarantee you that everyone can agree that that looks like a tanned girl, period.
Secondly, how ignorant must the whole team be? It’s like no one thought for a second that maybe this isn’t going to go well since she looks like a Malay individual?
Oh wait, they did and used it in the video instead as an insult, wow!
What makes it worse is that the Haoren is a Malaysian singer and you’re telling me he hasn’t seen anyone who looks that before to spark some inner reflection?
Lastly, to answer if it’s wrong to portray an actor with tanned makeup to represent sunburns?
Well, someone doesn’t seem to understand what’s going now, does he? The issue isn’t about the portrayal; it’s about the message that the video is showcasing about brownface.
The singer thought that his music video was perfectly fine depicting a sunburned girl trying to cure herself with a whitening product. Instead, to everyone else, it looked like a Malay girl being told that her skin colour is not good enough to fit in with the rest. Don’t believe me?
Mute the video and give it another watch if you can find it online.
And frankly, I agree with the people who are not happy about this Haoren Brownface incident.
It’s not an overreaction; instead, I think it’s perfectly normal. No wants to pay attention to how things can look from the side, so it’s high time that everyone is forced to do so.