‘Why must you wear so little?’: Police watchdog member links Miss Hong Kong’s swimsuit segment to widespread pornography, child abuse

From left: Helen Yu, a Miss Hong Kong Pageant contestant and Eric Tsang. Photo: Screengrab of YouTube videos and Wikimedia Commons
From left: Helen Yu, a Miss Hong Kong Pageant contestant and Eric Tsang. Photo: Screengrab of YouTube videos and Wikimedia Commons

The city’s police watchdog held a meeting with police representatives on Tuesday to discuss what measures should be taken in light of the recent high-profile child abuse scandal that saw 34 staff from the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children charged. Five have pleaded guilty so far, while three have been sentenced to jail terms between 4 months and 5 months and 8 weeks.

And one of the members of the Independent Police Complaints Council seemed to suggest quite an unlikely factor contributing to the child abuse problem in Hong Kong.

While discussing the serious issue and ways to tackle it, such as having teachers and parents monitor the children’s health, Helen Yu, a former director of education, suddenly started talking about how pornography and violence had recently become widespread in television programs and movies. 

Screengrab of the Independent Police Complaints Council’s YouTube video showing Helen Yu.

“Even in the Miss Hong Kong Pageant, you can see all of them wearing so little,” she said, referring to the annual pageant competition organized by broadcaster TVB. 

“It’s okay to wear little when you’re swimming, but why do you need to [do so] in the question and answer segment in an air-conditioned room, while facing people like Eric Tsang with their eyes wide open and fixed on you. Why must you wear a bikini to answer questions?”

Screengrab of TVB’s YouTube video showing the final of the Miss Hong Kong Pageant in 2021.

Tsang is a veteran Hong Kong actor and the current general manager of content operations at TVB. 

Eric Tsang. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Roger Wo

Yu called on the relevant authorities to issue strict guidelines on what should and should not be broadcast on air. 

In a press statement responding to the comments (but without naming Yu), the broadcaster hit back at what it called “malicious and false accusations” against Tsang. It also said the comments, which linked the Miss Hong Kong Pageant to pornography, violence and child abuse, were immoral, irresponsible, and misleading to the public, as well as disrespectful and a malicious slander against the pageant’s contestants. 

TVB stressed it follows the Generic Code of Practice on Television, adding it reserves all legal rights to defend itself against false accusations and malicious speculation.

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