Malaysian singer sorry for imitating sunburn with brownface makeup in music video

Malaysian influencer Teng Qiu Wen in brownface makeup, at left, and Choo Hao Ren, at right. Photo: Choo Hao Ren/Instagram
Malaysian influencer Teng Qiu Wen in brownface makeup, at left, and Choo Hao Ren, at right. Photo: Choo Hao Ren/Instagram

Malaysian singer Choo Hao Ren issued a public apology today after drawing criticism for featuring a woman dressed in brownface for his latest music video promoting a whitening product.

While that makeup stunt was meant to “imitate sunburn” and was not targeting any particular race, the 32-year-old acknowledged in his apology that it had made people feel uncomfortable. The White Doll music video was promoting the Snow Bebe whitening product and had starred influencer Teng Qiu Wen in very tanned skin and being bullied by schoolmates.

“I am deeply sorry,” Choo said. “This [music video] is about a girl who needs to walk to school under the hot sun which caused her to be sunburned.” 

“In the end, she was able to recover from her sunburned skin, everyone was surprised and happy for her,” he added. The video was taken down from YouTube last night, just hours after it went up. Choo plans to reupload the video without the “offensive content.” 

D’Glivz, the Malaysian company behind the whitening product, also issued a statement yesterday to say that they had “no intention to offend anyone.”

Teng did not immediately respond to Coconuts’ request for comment. 

The deleted music video mostly showed a dusky Teng dealing with bullying due to her skin until she started to drink the whitening product and become fairer. One of the scenes showed schoolmates pasting a handwritten poster on her back that said: “Does your mom know you are so dark?”

Classmates crowding around a sparkling Teng Qiu Wen. Photo: Choo Hao Ren/YouTube
Classmates crowding around a sparkling Teng Qiu Wen. Photo: Choo Hao Ren/YouTube

“It might be funny to you but you have no idea how demeaning, traumatising and hurtful it is to others,” @Jobroseph said on Instagram

“Member still doesn’t understand WHY it’s offensive and came out with this NON APOLOGY just to try n fix the situation,” @Gayathrx commented.

“Give your GF SPF if you don’t want her to get burned,” Instagram user Rebeccafooo suggested.

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CITY: KLCATEGORY: LIFESTYLESUB-CATEGORIES: MUSIC & SHOWBIZ

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