Don’t Cancel Me: Solenn Heussaff apologizes after being accused of poverty porn

Solenn Heusaff says sorry. Photos: Heusaff/FB
Solenn Heusaff says sorry. Photos: Heusaff/FB

Actress and painter Solenn Heussaff issued an apology today after she almost got canceled over accusations that she committed poverty porn.

Heusaff posted a photo on Facebook yesterday where she announced her third solo art exhibit this month. Instead of congratulating her, quite a number of people were peeved that the photo showed the model posing near the slums while sitting on a chair. The mob accused her of insensitivity and using people’s poverty to further her art career.

Read: Who wants to cancel cancel culture? The voiceless or the privileged?

The image is no longer on the actress’s social media accounts, and she said in a statement that she wants to apologize to people whom she has hurt. She added that shooting the image in an underprivileged community wasn’t a move to “romanticize” poverty or Filipinos’ resiliency.

“[I] wanted to shoot it in a typical street, those we drive by every day. Streets full of life, since all my paintings are about the people we see. Not the rich or the poor but people for who they are. Humanity,” she said.

“Though yes, art is subjective, and your thoughts made me more sensitive to different perspectives on my art and this really was a learning experience for me. It wasn’t my intention to hurt or offend anyone. It was my hope that I could lend my voice and my art to show the reality of Filipinos,” she added.

Read: Despite the fame, Solenn Heussaff claims: ‘I never changed!’

“I really hoped to honor our people by being truthful about the kind of life a lot of Filipinos live today and to show that Filipinos deserve better,” she said.

Heussaff is relatively well-liked among showbiz press, many of whom say she is a down-to-earth person, but this recent episode shows that even someone of her stature could be canceled by Pinoys online. Cancel culture, as defined by Dictionary.com, is the act of withdrawing support for people when they have committed something offensive.  For the past few months, there have been calls for it to stop, with some pointing out that it can lead to the loss of reputation and income. Others have also said that canceling people was just another form of cyberbullying. 

 

Do you think Heussaff deserved to be called out? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment or tweet to @CoconutsManila. 

 

 

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