SINGAPORE: A day after they were criticised for their “mock, insincere apology”, local YouTubers Preeti Nair and her brother Subhas have offered a fresh apology for their controversial rap video.
“We have apologised, but we understand that more needs to be said and done, ” the Nair siblings said in a statement posted on their social media accounts yesterday.
“We unconditionally apologise for the tone, aggression, vulgarities and gestures used in the K. Muthusamy music video.”
The siblings had issued a statement on Friday ostensibly apologising “for any hurt that was unintentionally caused” by the video they created earlier this week in response to a “brownface” advertisement featuring Chinese actor Dennis Chew.To call out the racism, the Nair siblings titled the rap K. Muthusamy – one of the characters Chew portrayed in the ad, a man with visibly darker skin.
Both the ad and rap video have whipped up a furore over racial sensitivity in Singapore and were criticised by politicians as being offensive and unacceptable.
Police reports have been lodged against both siblings.
Their “apology” on Friday, however, closely followed the wording of a statement issued by the creative agency and management company involved in producing the e-payment ad.
Shortly after it was posted online, the Home Affairs Ministry slammed the statement as a “mock, insincere apology”.
“This spoofing is a pretence of an apology, and in fact shows contempt for the many Singaporeans who have expressed concern at their blatantly racist rap video, ” the ministry said.
Yesterday, the siblings noted that people were offended and they sincerely apologised for it.
“If we could do it over again, we would change the manner in which we approached this issue, and would have worded our thoughts better, ” they said, claiming they “only wanted to spark a conversation” on the portrayal of minority races in Singapore.
They added that while the country should have space for people to express themselves, it was also the responsibility of artists to carry their message in a way that honoured the issue and did not hurt people.“We want to continue to participate in the ongoing national discussion, but to do so responsibly, ” they said. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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