Dangdut star Via Vallen of ‘Sayang’ fame is currently in the middle of a much-talked-about #MeToo moment after an unnamed foreign soccer player in Indonesia allegedly harassed her through private messages on social media.
It’s hard to deny that Indonesia’s Muslim-majority population has become increasingly conservative in recent years. Once…
While the dangdut genre has seen an increase in sexy female performers over the years, Via is one of a new generation of female artists that project more of a playful sense of schoolgirl cuteness than outright sexiness in their performances. But her fame and her involvement in the industry was apparently enough justification for one professional soccer player to send her creepy, harassing messages.
Yesterday, Via posted a couple of Instagram stories revealing the alleged harassment by the soccer star. In the first post, she copied a DM from the soccer player, which said, “I want u sign for me in my bedroom, wearing sexy clothes…” (many believe “sign” to be a typo and that he actually meant “sing”).
In that post, Via claims to have never met the “famous soccer player”, and that she felt “humiliated” by the request.
An hour later, Via posted a screenshot of their chat after he allegedly confronted her via DM about her first post.
Via has so far refused to reveal the identity of the player (in more ways than one, it appears), saying simply that she hopes he becomes a better person after this.
Even so, the all-knowing internet hive mind has speculated that the player in question is Croatian Marko Simic, who plays for Jakarta’s Persija FC. Both Via and Simic’s names are trending on social media as many are defending the former (there’s even a hashtag called #SaveViaVallen) and denouncing the latter over the messages.
Simic has not made any statements on the matter, possibly because he’s saving his rants for the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and their decision to suspend him for four games and fine him IDR20 million (US$1,440) for a dangerous elbow to an opponent recently.
Fighting back against sexual harassment is unfortunately part of the job for some female performers in Indonesia. In December last year, while singing on stage, DJ Gebby Vesta kicked a man in the face who thought that her revealing attire was an invitation for him to grab her crotch.