The Top Model franchise is no stranger to controversies, and now its Indonesian version has one of its own after its celebrity judges, Deddy Corbuzier and Luna Maya, mocked a contestant when she opened up about her struggle with mental health during the show.
In a recent episode of Indonesia’s Next Top Model, 23-year-old Danella Ilene from Bali shared with the judges her battle with depression and eating disorder in response to Luna’s question about her photoshoot concept at the beach.
“So I used to be depressed, but I’ve gone past that and now I know who I am, I appreciate who I am today,” Ilene, who has advanced to be among the top 5 contestants, said.
Deddy immediately cut off Ilene’s explanation and questioned why she could have struggled with her mental health when she appears to have everything that any woman would want in the world.
“You’re pretty, you’re a model. You’re tall, sexy, and smart. If you’re depressed, you’re insulting the martabak (Indonesian dessert pancake) seller in front of my house,” the magician-turned-TV host and podcaster told Ilene.
Ilene then revealed that she had been diagnosed with eating disorders twice, during which she once had an insatiable appetite and the other time in which she didn’t have the desire to eat at all.
“I really like eating, so [do I have an] eating disorder?” Luna asked jokingly, in what can only be described as an obtuse response, to others in the room, including fellow judges Patricia Gouw, the runner-up of Asia’s Next Top Model season 4, and fashion choreographer Panca Makmun.
“You really are a mental health [case],” Deddy replied to Luna with a laugh, before Luna proceeded to ask Ilene if she was serious about her claims.
Ilene went on to say that her mental health began to deteriorate after she entered the modeling industry as a teenager in 2015. The pressure to lose weight and the frequent body shaming she received stressed her out and eventually led her to gain weight.
“In my opinion, when you determine a profession, the demands could be like that. So I don’t think it was body shaming,” Deddy remarked.
“Maybe I wasn’t strong enough at that time,” Ilene responded with a smile.
Indonesians, many of whom sympathized with Ilene, took to Twitter to express their disgust at Deddy and Luna’s remarks. Many of them also noticed that the “martabak seller” comment was edited out in the video that was uploaded to the show’s YouTube channel yesterday.
Tw: Depression and Eating disorder
I cant even begin to explain how upsetting and disappointing these videos are. To be open and transparent about your mental illnesses (god knows how hard that is) and to be belittled and mocked on television breaks my heart so much. pic.twitter.com/bOSghlrWIk
— rachell yahya (@raechuuu) March 21, 2021
Problematic banget anjir komentarnya???? Cuma Patgouw & Mas Panca yang keliatan sympathetic ke Ilene. pic.twitter.com/zylLftfpls
— #JKT48CaraCerobohUntukMencinta (@Alkupra) March 22, 2021
How problematic are the comments? Only Patgouw and Mas Panca appeared sympathetic towards Ilene.
this is not right. intm & the celebrities should apologise to her for being so insensitive to ilene. this is so upsetting and disappointing. how dare they https://t.co/aVQ9siukob
— alexandra kosasie (@andakosasie) March 22, 2021
Both Luna and Deddy have yet to release any statements regarding the controversy at the time of publication, while Ilene appears to be on a social media break.
Indonesia’s Next Top Model (INTM) is the country’s edition of the hit modeling competition America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) originally created by US model-turned-television personality Tyra Banks. The show has also been adapted for the Asian market, titled Asia’s Next Top Model (ASNTM), which ran from 2012 to 2018.