With a name that literally translates to “watermelons duo”, it’s hardly surprising that Duo Semangka has become Indonesia’s latest controversial dangdut act. Their profile has been raised further recently by the Commission for the Protection of Indonesian Children (KPAI), who have called on the duo in an attempt to shield children’s eyes from their sexually suggestive videos.
Duo Semangka, whose members are Clara Gopa and Vhanya Kiara, are a relatively new dangdut act having formed in 2018. They have become popular because of their risqué videos and signature dances that make clear the “watermelons” in their name are a juvenile euphemism.
On August 14, KPAI summoned Duo Semangka for questioning over the pair’s music videos, which the commission said were inappropriate for children.
Just how inappropriate? Well, here’s the video to Duo Semangka’s hit single, Mantul, which is a portmanteau for the Indonesian phrase “mantap betul” meaning “super awesome”.
And this on-the-nose Instagram post by Clara Gopa pretty much sums up what the duo are all about.
It’s easy to see why KPAI does not think that Duo Semangka’s videos are awesome for children. The commission said that many have complained to them about the videos and that it will speak with the duo about promoting more “positive” content on social media.
“In principle, we ask all artists to make use of social media to promote positive and educational information. That’s because kids of various ages access social media, so this becomes the responsibility of all parties, including artists.”
Duo Semangka have yet to fulfill KPAI’s summon due to reported scheduling conflicts. In an interview with Detik yesterday, the duo said they were “shocked” that they were summoned by KPAI but pledged to keep an open mind when they meet with the commission in the coming days.
“Essentially, whatever KPAI says we’ll follow, if they tell us to cover up then we’ll follow the rules,” Clara Gopa said.
Indonesian authorities often take issue with what they deem to be inappropriate content published by entertainers and influencers, pressuring platforms to censor their content — as was the case with Youtube taking down gaming influencer Kimi Hime’s videos recently — or, as is what is likely to transpire with Duo Semangka, pressuring them to self-censor.
In 2016, for example, KPAI reported social media stars Karin Novilda AKA Awkarin and Anya Geraldine for their supposed “vulgar content”, such as wearing revealing clothes in their Instagram posts, to the IT Ministry (Kominfo). Karin ended up meeting with the members of KPAI and Kominfo, after which they came to an agreement that her posts would include more “positive elements” in the future (which didn’t last long).