Wednesday 3 August 2011

8TV: Ad misinterpreted and misunderstood

Television network 8TV today issued its second apology for the Ramadan commercial it had briefly aired before pulling it out after a barrage of accusations that the advertisement was racist and perpetuated stereotypes.

One apology was issued yesterday to netizens, with the second taking shape this morning in a more official tone.

Quoting the Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, 8TV expressed the misfortune that had arisen as a result of its Ramadan Public Service Announcement (PSA).

"As the famous Austrian philosopher Karl Popper once said "It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood" - and this is the unfortunate situation that has resulted from the 8TV Ramadan PSA.
“It is with much regret that there were misinterpretations in the PSA that were meant to serve only as a message of respect for the Ramadan month.

“The message was not meant to offend anyone, race or creed in any way. This is an honest mistake involving a very small amount of humour that was misinterpreted which led to concerns.

NONE“In view of this, 8TV has pulled out the PSA and apologises for any inconvenience or uneasiness caused,” said the network in a statement.

In one of the three commercials, the arms of a Chinese lady wearing a tight and sleeveless top were blurred as she walked through a Ramadan bazaar, boasting that she is “the centre of attention” amidst frowns by those around her.

The commercial
then advised its viewers not to wear tight and revealing clothes, not to get carried away and to understand and respect the significance of Ramadan.

In a tweet yesterday in reaction to angry posts against the network, 8TV CEO Ahmad Izham Omar told critics to 'chill' and not to “overthink”.

“Chill guys. Don't overthink the ads. It's written, produced and directed by a multi-racial team. If you overanalyse, anything will be bad,” he said.

An 8TV tweet yesterday said: “Hey people! 8TV has pulled out the Ramadan public service announcement (PSA) ads. We apologise for any inconvenience or uneasiness caused”.
'So-called apology'

Reacting to the apology issued this morning, one 'Jenifer Ng' posted on 8TV's Facebook page that she was less than impressed with the citation of Popper in defence of the gaffe.

“Your pretentious apology means nothing to us. Only the removal of all who are involved in the production to the approval of the PSA will. Show your sincerity. Remove them immediately,” said Ng.

Another commentator, Zack Yusof, noted 8TV's statement did not denote regret for a mistake made as much regretting the lack of humour on the part of its viewers.
“For a channel that broadcasts so much Chinese shows, the stupidity and lack of foresight you guys showed in coming up with that crap was unbelievable. Terrible so-called apology too... very disappointing..”

Hopping on Ahmad Izham's tweet, “Erik NapPro Tan” remarked sarcastically:

“This is a public service announcement: watching 8TV can be detrimental to your health... avoid it at all cost. It is advisable to 'chill' and read a book.”

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