‘Just entertainment!’ Burmese singer says of video slammed for misogyny

Image: Yone Lay / Facebook
Image: Yone Lay / Facebook

A commercial featuring men leering at a woman’s breasts is being condemned as sexist and promoting harassment in Myanmar.

Directed by 35-year-old singer Yone Lay (little rabbit), the recent spot for Mi-Star flip-flops has been slammed for depicting three men who criticize a young woman’s outfit until she puts on a tight skirt and bikini top, after which they spend several minutes staring at her cleavage, as do we the viewers, thanks to numerous close-up shots.

“I despise this kind of funny video. This shows that it can be acceptable to harass women in our society,” wrote Burmese actress May Toe Khine.

There isn’t much premise to the video beyond dudes – even old wheelchair-bound dudes – love boobs and will do anything for a good look, even climbing atop counters for a better angle for their penetrating stares – so buy sandals.

“It’s a very vulgar commercial!” Facebooker Su Yee Nu wrote in one of nearly 40,000 comments to the video, which comes with an 18+ only warning.  “Shame on you!”

Yone Lay, who’s best known for directing the Original Gangster film franchise, dismissed the criticism and said the video didn’t amount to sexual harassment or treat sexism as fun.

“It’s just entertainment. I am not hurting anyone, and it’s not a crime either,” he responded on Oct. 1. “It’s just a low-budget commercial,” the singer wrote in response.

It’s not the first time he’s caused controversy on social media. Yone Lay was also criticized when he posted a music video he directed for the upcoming election in which he fictionally combined the two largest parties in to the “National League for Democracy and Military” to save State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi from assasination.

Nonetheless, Htet Wa Na’s very clear opinion of his work was unswayed, as per his Facebook comment:

“Go fuck yourself. Artists like you’re a kind of pollution for Myanmar.”

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