Marlou Arizala, aka Xander Ford, was at one point the subject of Filipino netizens’ mean jokes after he first became viral on social media in 2015, and again in 2017 after undergoing major plastic surgery.
He laid low for a while but his name has returned to the spotlight after his management team made a shocking announcement yesterday saying that they are putting Arizala on an “indefinite suspension” because he allegedly violated numerous terms in his contract.
The statement from Star Image Artist Management, however, was made even stranger by the fact that they have decided to take back Arizala’s screen name Xander Ford. They also launched a search for a new person who can use the name, which has the ludicrous title Project Xander Ford: The Deserving One.
Arizala first became famous when he was still a member of the boy band parody group Hasht5. He was bullied massively because of his looks. He then underwent several cosmetic surgeries in October 2017, believing that looking great will help him fulfill his dream of becoming a legit celebrity. He relaunched himself under the name Xander Ford, a transformation that was covered extensively by the media.
Sadly, the bullying didn’t stop, and in July last year, Arizala announced that he had gone back to school because his critics were saying that he was stupid.
Star Image’s statement posted on Facebook has gone viral and has been shared more than 4,600 times. On it, they even had the audacity to ask netizens to tag or comment the names of people they know who deserve to “have the next viral transformation.”
The management company claimed that it was Arizala who asked them for help to revive his career. Star Image said they christened him with the name Xander Ford because they wanted to project a wholesome image for the internet-famous young man.
They went as far as enumerating a slew of alleged controversies to prove that Arizala had a bad attitude, including a time he allegedly deliberately hid from his management due to peer pressure.
After providing a list of Arizala’s alleged transgressions, the company said that they are taking back the name Xander Ford, which they will then give to a person with “the good qualities that we are looking for an upcoming Idol and to become a good role model to all.”
Well, good luck with that.
Star Image ended their post by saying that while Arizala is suspended, he is contract-bound to them until May 2022 and that all bookings made with him have to be approved by the company. They said that they will sue anyone involved if this is not followed.
Star Image’s call for the next Xander Ford appears downright ridiculous but there is no shortage of takers.
In fact, some of them even left comments on the post, such as Arnold Salas, who said he was willing to change his appearance. Of course, he could be being sarcastic too.
However, there are people who didn’t like how Star Image is treating Arizala such as Ildefonso Ungui Jr. who wrote: “Why does it seem like everything was Marlou’s fault? I’m not a fan of this kid but you have a responsibility with the way that this child acted.”
“He agreed to everything you wanted him to do, which led more people to bash him and this is what you do? Pure business! Isn’t this a form of bullying?”
Femina Bellator asked: “Posting this for people to bully him? I can see that there is nothing [wrong] with him, you just can’t accept that there are people [whom] you can’t manipulate for fame.”
Jonathan Mendoza is also one of Star Image’s critics.
“You didn’t do your part. After his (Arizala’s) transformation, you should have given him an education and taught him how to behave properly,” he said.
What do you think of this whole crazy situation? Leave a comment below or tweet to @CoconutsManila.