One would hope that, in these challenging times, basic human decency is alive and well. We’ve unfortunately been shown otherwise, after an Indonesian Youtuber pulled a transphobic prank by giving out boxes of fake groceries to members of a marginalized community.
The Youtuber, Ferdian Paleka, has been widely talked about on social media in the past few days after he uploaded a video of his recent exploit, in which he and some of his friends can be seen giving out fake aid packages to transwomen on the streets of Bandung, West Java.
In the video, Ferdian had no qualms about showing that the instant noodle boxes they had prepared were actually filled with bricks and garbage.
“So we want to survey bencong on the streets, whether they are around or not in this fasting month [of Ramadan],” Ferdian said at the beginning of the video, referring to the transwomen using the pejorative term in Indonesian.
Ferdian, accompanied by an unidentified friend and bad EDM tunes blaring in the background, then explained what he intended to do with the transwomen as he pointed to the boxes while laughing smugly.
“We will distribute groceries containing bricks and garbage. If there are any bencong, we’ll give them the boxes, but if they’re not around, that means this city is safe from waria.”
In Indonesia, transwomen are usually referred to as waria — a portmanteau of the Indonesian words wanita, meaning woman, and pria, meaning man. However, it should be noted that the most respectful term is transpuan, which combines the Indonesian words for female and transgender.
The video showed Ferdian and his friends giving the boxes to their unsuspecting victims, who they encounter along the streets and appeared to be delighted to receive the aid.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Ferdian’s vile deed unleashed the wrath of Indonesian netizens, many of whom took to Twitter yesterday and began calling on others to report his video for hateful and abusive content.
The video has since been removed from Youtube for violating the platform’s policy on harassment and bullying, though a number of reposts have since surfaced.
Other users also pointed out that Ferdian — who describes himself as “toxic humble and chill” in the about section of his Youtube channel — has repeatedly posted videos that are degrading to women and sex workers, and have gotten away with it.
The anger has apparently transcended into real life, as Ferdian’s home in Baleendah sub-district was stormed by a group of people last night, as seen in the tweet below. There were also police officers at the scene, though the Youtuber had reportedly ran away by then.
Kediaman nya Ferdian Paleka malam ini digruduk warga dan beberapa orang yang sengaja datang ke Kavling Bojong Koneng Indah, Kec. Baleendah. Petugas kepolisian sudah berada di TKP. Kabarnya doi ga ada di rumah alias kabur. Tunggu update selanjutnya. pic.twitter.com/PzYXhOvGRn
— IG @kabar.jabar (@twitkabarjabar) May 3, 2020
The transwomen in Ferdian’s now-infamous video, identified as 39-year-old Sani and 56-year-old Dani, have reported him to the Bandung City Police. According to Sani, the incident occurred midnight on Friday on Ibrahim Adjie street in the Kiaracondong sub-district. Sani said she received rotten bean sprouts, while Dani found one large brick in her box.
Both of them said they were saddened and angered upon finding out that their faces were visible in the video.
“Apparently [the video] was uploaded to Youtube, of course we’re humiliated and shocked that people could see us,” Sani said today, as quoted by Kumparan.
Ferdian appears to show no remorse for the prank, as shown on his fake apology video that was uploaded via Instagram stories.
“I personally would like to apologize for what I’ve done… not,” Ferdian said in the video.
Police say they have apprehended one of Ferdian’s friends from the prank video, who has been taken in for questioning. It’s not yet clear what, if any, charges he would face.
Ferdian’s prank video comes less than a week after another Youtuber, who goes by the handle hasanjr11, sparked outrage in the Muslim-majority country after he posted a video in which he goes around offering relatively low income citizens IDR10 million (US$651) if they eat a slice of pizza on the first day of Ramadan this year. He has since taken down the video and uploaded an apology video on his Instagram account.
While we don’t think the trend of outrage-for-clout strategy employed by local cringe-inducing Youtubers will die down any time soon, we do hope that Indonesian netizens will unite for good when it’s necessary, so we can rid our society of the likes of Ferdian Paleka and hasanjr11.
Leave A Reply
You must be logged in as a Coconuts User to comment.