Indonesian celebrity Raffi Ahmad apologizes for attending party post vaccination

Screenshots of an Instagram story posted by Instaceleb Anya Geraldine from the party (L) and Raffi Ahmad’s apology video. Photo: Istimewa & Instagram/@raffinagita1717
Screenshots of an Instagram story posted by Instaceleb Anya Geraldine from the party (L) and Raffi Ahmad’s apology video. Photo: Istimewa & Instagram/@raffinagita1717

Indonesian celebrity/influencer Raffi Ahmad was supposed to set an example for the rest of the country in the fight against COVID-19, but he was accused of breaking that trust when he attended a party on the same day he became among the first Indonesians to receive a vaccine for the viral disease. 

Also Read ⁠— President Joko Widodo ushers Indonesia’s mass vaccination program with first CoronaVac jab

The 33-year-old celebrity was picked to be among the “key opinion leaders” to get vaccinated right after President Joko Widodo yesterday. Whether or not Raffi deserved the privilege was a hotly debated topic, only for the influencer himself to give fodder to his naysayers by attending a party later in the evening.

The party, also attended by a number of public figures, was held by businessman Ricardo Gelael, CEO of PT Fast Food Indonesia, at one of his houses in South Jakarta.

Screenshots of Instagram stories from the party have been circulating widely, one of which showed Raffi and his wife Nagita Slavina cozying up with Instaceleb Anya Geraldine, Ricardo’s son F2 racer Sean Gelael, and actor Gading Marten. None of them wore face masks nor kept any distance between them.

Singer Once Mekel and former Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama, who’s now the president commissioner of state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina, were also seen maskless at the party — though the latter reportedly only took his face mask off before singing on stage.

While netizens rightfully called Raffi out for his reckless behavior, a number of celebrities have also done the same, most notable of whom include singer Sherina Munaf and comedian Ernest Prakasa.

“Hello Raffi Ahmad, after getting vaccinated it doesn’t mean that you can go out with many people. You were chosen to get the first batch of the vaccine because you have a lot of followers. For the same reason, please consistently set good examples next. Please you can do better than this. Your followers are counting on you,” Sherina’s tweet reads.

“Yup, I managed to look stupid. But it’s really not about me. I think Raffi’s action was out of line and disrespectful of the privilege he received,” Ernest retweeted a user who called him out, as the former previously tweeted about agreeing to Raffi being among the first to be vaccinated because of his social influence. 

Following the controversy, government officials say they will issue a warning to Raffi and remind everyone that the vaccine alone won’t keep the coronavirus at bay.

This afternoon, Raffi took to Instagram to post an apology video addressing the public and President Jokowi.

“Last night’s party didn’t take place at a public space, but at the house of my friend’s father. Before we entered the house, we had to go through several health protocols. But when I had a meal when I was inside, [I took off my mask and[ then there were people who took photos of me,” he said.

“I apologize as this incident became big. I remind you guys once again, to everyone, to myself, to obey the 3M protocol (washing hands with soap, using face masks, and maintaining physical distance). I don’t want to disappoint many parties, especially because I got to be the first to be vaccinated,” Raffi said in the video.

Police in South Jakarta say the party host will be summoned for questioning in the coming days over possible violation of the health quarantine law.

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