An Indonesian woman who shared on TikTok about her experience of being catcalled on holiday island Gili Trawangan is being sued for online defamation, as locals accuse her of giving the tourist hotspot a bad rep.
Former flight attendant Mia Earliana shared on her TikTok account last weekend about being catcalled while visiting Gili Trawangan, located just off the coast of Lombok, some time ago. The clip, which was uploaded on Sept. 15, was a response to a story about another social media influencer being catcalled on the island.
Mia chimed in with her own personal story.
“I’m so mad. I will not return to Gili Trawangan, to be honest,” Mia said in her TikTok.
To her credit, Mia first shared positive experiences she had when visiting other islands in Indonesia – especially Bali.
“Every time I go to Bali I don’t have to be worried about catcalling […] no matter what clothes I wear,” she said.
“But when I visited Gili […] it was so fucking disgusting. The catcalling was unbelievable,” she added, explaining that seconds after she arrived on Gili, men would call her “pretty” while offering her “free snorkeling” and, more straight to the point, asked for her phone number and her company.
In the clip, Mia went on to say that while the island is beautiful, the people need to change in order for tourism there to thrive.
It should be noted that Mia also complained about other things, such as alleged dishonesty about hotel prices.
The video went viral and reportedly received 9 million views in just four days after it was uploaded.
Over the weekend, Mia, seemingly aware that her content offended some people in Lombok, uploaded an apology video explaining that all she wanted to do was to put a spotlight on irresponsible individuals on the island. In the apology video, commenters overwhelmingly came to her support.
The catcall allegations video has been set to private, Mia said, adding that she has prepared evidence that she was verbally harassed.
Marianto, a resident who represents the North Lombok community, filed a complaint yesterday with the West Nusa Tenggara Police over Mia’s video.
The video, he said, implied that North Lombok people are perverted and thus hurt the island’s image as a tourist-friendly destination.
“What’s worse is that she claimed that the [harassment] was conducted by many people there,” he said.