Sexual harassment, shitty celeb behavior: Exposé by TV crew member reveals the ugly side of Indonesian showbiz

Screenshots of AH’s Instagram Stories. AH is still working for an unnamed network, although many of the stories appear to have been taken from his previous stint at another TV station.
Screenshots of AH’s Instagram Stories. AH is still working for an unnamed network, although many of the stories appear to have been taken from his previous stint at another TV station.

One can easily find rumors about Indonesian celebrities on online forums or gossip accounts on Instagram. But information about what really goes on behind the scenes, and, by extension, how celebrities actually behave away from the public eye, doesn’t really get any more compelling than if the tea was spilled by an insider who has been in the showbiz industry for years.

A man identified by his initials AH recently took to Instagram to tell tales of what he faced over the course of his career as a TV crew member. After screenshots of his stories circulated widely online, AH has set his Instagram account to private ⁠— but some of his posts, which have been reposted by other accounts and on other platforms, have gone viral since, such as this thread below by user @BanyuSadewa.

https://twitter.com/BanyuSadewa/status/1312731837454708737

AH is still working for an unnamed network, although many of the stories appear to have been taken from his previous stint at another TV station. AH said he decided to give a tell-all as he wanted the public not to take everything they see on TV and social media at face value, especially when many celebrities can be paid to publish any content, be it real or fabricated. 

AH’s stories reveal that celebrities get up to all sorts of unexpected things, ranging from funny to shitty, when the camera’s not rolling. In addition, it also shows another proof that sexual harassment is still normalized within the industry. And though he did not name names, netizens were quick to venture guesses as to who AH might be referring to, thus adding to the ongoing discussions. 

As the whole exposé is in Indonesian, we’ve compiled several major points and broke them down below:

The good bad guys

Let’s leaf this chapter with positive notes. AH said that celebrities who tend to have “negative” public image or considered as the “public enemy” are usually professional and friendly to the crew, even going as far as taking them to nightclubs, playing sports together, treating them to a nice meal, or giving them pocket money. There are some who would help promote the crew members’ side business on their social media free of charge, or even willing to guest star in their side projects, such as podcasts. 

On one of his many posts, AH said that he thought a singer “who has had a long career” was a snob, but was proven wrong as they turned out to be highly professional and ready to follow any direction that was given to them.

Shit celebrities say/do behind the scenes

Now let’s move on to the bizarre ones, shall we? AH said a “legendary comedian” who appears to be well-liked by a lot of people was actually rude in real life. Never meet your heroes, as they say.

Another celebrity allegedly complained about a slum they visited for a charity episode of a TV show because the place was dirty. The celeb apparently went so far as to describe the woman who received the aid as “smelly.” 

In a slew of stories about public figures being unprofessional despite being highly paid, one of the most bizarre ones we saw was about someone widely regarded as a religious leader disobeying COVID-19 health protocols because he thought people who contracted the viral disease “couldn’t control their emotions” and that the coronavirus was an “influence carried by jinn (Islamic genies).”

PR couples

Marrying (or dating) into celeb royalty is real here, and a lot of it is fake. We’re not here to say that this is the case for all celebrity couples out there, but there’s a good chance that some of them were actually set up for the headlines.

“Nowadays dating or marriage can be set up, no need to bring love, handsomeness, or money [into the relationship]. As long as you’re viral and easy to monetize, many celebrities would like to make content about set-up dating or marriage with you,” AH wrote. 

In another post, AH added that some alleged closeted gay male celebrities are or have been in fake relationships with female celebrities to cover up their real sexual orientation due to the pervasiveness of homophobia in Indonesia. Some of them are now married, and some already have kids.

Family goals? Not really

What you see is not always what you get for a lot of celebrities, it seems, as many families and married celebrity couples who appear perfect on screen are anything but in real life. According to AH, some celebrities who boast “couple goals” personas are often busy with their own phones off camera, and often even arrive at the studio in separate cars. 

In another post, AH wrote that a male celebrity who worked with him ⁠— whose public image is that of a family man and known for “often hugging his wife” in public ⁠— offered him shoes, an apartment, and anything else he desired as long as he agreed to have sex with him.

Sexual abuse

Another factor that pushed AH to speak up is the prevalent sexual harassment he and his colleagues have faced over the course of their careers on TV, some personal examples of which he’d also shared.

“‘Why only speak up now?’ Bro, aren’t you tired after having experienced sexual harassment, seeing your friends become victims of sexual harassment? It’s because we are afraid that the celebrity would get upset and refuse to continue shooting and we end up getting blamed” AH wrote, adding that in most situations, crew members don’t have the backing from their employers when they decide to speak out.

AH wrote that one male celebrity demanded to be briefed by male crew members while having his chest caressed, while another only wanted to go on a shoot if he can grope the penis of a male crew member. There was a period in AH’s career when he was assigned by his boss to a male celebrity as a “mannequin to be touched,” who, among other things, demanded AH to call him “sayang” (dear) in his ear, touching his hands and laying his head on his shoulder without consent, and even kissing him in the cheek in front of his boss.

AH alleged that this same guy is still sexually harassing his colleagues to this day, but they’re afraid to speak up because they don’t want to lose their jobs as the celebrity’s family brings in high ratings to the TV station.

While AH said he wanted to open people’s minds about the mostly fabricated lives of celebrities, his main goal was to raise public awareness on how the industry is filled with many “Saipul Jamils” who are currently at the top of their respective careers. Saipul Jamil is a disgraced dangdut singer who’s currently in prison for sexually abusing an underage boy in 2016.

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