Malaysian artiste Haoren deletes offensive 'brownface' music video after backlash


Choo Hao Ren and Qiu Wen in the advertisement. Photo: YouTube

Malaysian artiste Choo Hao Ren, better known as Haoren, recently released a music video for a skin whitening product featuring Instagram influencer Qiu Wen in brownface.

The music video, accompanying the song White Doll, was criticised by netizens for not only having a coloured-face, but also for its outdated idea that having a fair skin means mark of beauty.

It shows some schoolgirls mocking the character played by Qiu Wen for her tanned skin tone.

A boy (Choo) secretly gifts her with various solutions for her dark skin including an umbrella and whitening drink sachets.

Two months later, she's no longer tanned, instead she is admired by her classmates for having fair skin.

Well, the music video has irked many viewers.

One person wrote: "It’s not OK to make fun of darker skin tones in any way. It’s not OK to use make-up to fake a darker complexion on an actor. It’s not OK to create disrespectful narratives without the creative control and voice of those who are discriminated against."

After the backlash, Haoren defended the concept of the music video, posting on his Instagram’s comment section: “I want to clarify that I definitely didn't mean to offend anyone. It is only because of the plot needs the makeup to perform the tanned skin that based on true story.”

Today (Jan 26), he put up a video on Instagram apologising and explaining further the story behind the music video. He’s also removed the music video from his YouTube channel.

Nonetheless, the fact that he is still giving an explanation on why he included a character in brownface is not making things better.

One person posted this apt comment to his video: “member still doesn’t understand WHY it’s offensive and came out with this NON APOLOGY just to try n fix the situation. absolute clownery.”

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