Teen actor lawyers up against production firm over boy love web series

The poster for ‘Stay Away From Me,’ a boy-love series filmed in Malaysia. Photo: Kmmkfriz/Twitter
The poster for ‘Stay Away From Me,’ a boy-love series filmed in Malaysia. Photo: Kmmkfriz/Twitter

Teen actor Danish Iskandar is mulling legal action against a local production company for allegedly not telling him in advance that he would be acting in a gay web series.

Amid online uproar over the Stay Away From Me movie for casting a Muslim minor, the 17-year-old TikTok star claimed that gay scenes were added when filming had already started. He is in talks with his lawyer over possible legal action against the Fun Media production house hired to produce the film for the Blued dating app popularly in the LGBTQ community. 

“This case will be handled by my lawyer since the production refused to be responsible for the controversy it caused, which has also tarnished my image,” the TikTok star with over 200,000 followers said yesterday.

Before production began, Danish, who had acted alongside Reese Ayman, said that the script initially did not contain any scenes portraying boy-and-boy love and was apparently unaware at the beginning that the show was being produced for a gay dating app. 

“The production didn’t clarify about the gay app, they just gave a storyline with no (gay) scenes… The scenes were added to the storyboard at the last minute, so [yeah] it is my fault for continuing with the shoot. I won’t do it again. I am a victim of circumstance,” Danish said in response to the backlash Sunday. Danish said he has engaged lawyers from the Hajar Aisyah & Co law firm. 

Reese, Blued, and Fun Media have not responded to Coconuts’ requests for comment as of publication time.

The first episode of the series aired on the app yesterday, drawing criticism from thousands of conservatives online who mostly condemned the show for featuring a Malaysian Muslim who is also a minor. 

“Yooo wtf is this. They are minors, and they’re literally Malay and Muslim,” Twitter user Kweytiao said, while another user said the actors look “so awkward.”

Stay Away From Me appears to be a remake of the 2017 Taiwanese drama of the same title, which depicted romantic interactions between two stepbrothers. In the Malaysian version, Reese plays an overly friendly character “Desmond,” who tries his best at being close to his colleague and roommate “Daniel,” played by Danish. 

The seemingly low-budget production had lovey-dovey scenes of the two featured in the trailer, including ones where Danish sucked on Reese’s injured finger, the pair hanging out in bed, and Reese asking his co-star to “stay.” There were no romantic scenes in the first episode.

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