Class vs crass

Popularity does not give you the licence to misbehave or barge into other people’s space without any prior notice

pic by TMR FILE

NO. YOU do not just park yourself in anyone’s restaurant or premises to go live on social media to promote your own products without asking the owner’s permission. It is just not right.

And no, you should not be offended when the owner reprimands you for doing just that, and you definitely should not use all the swear words while doing live because it says much about your background and upbringing.

For the uninitiated, a video by a so-called “influencer” — who had to leave a famous restaurant in Melaka in a huff after she was told off by the owner for trying to promote her product on social media while having lunch with her cohorts — is now circulating, viewed and discussed by thousands.

Within just a couple of days, the “influencer”, who is also described as the founder of a certain diet product, has become among the most talked-about personalities in the country.

While some sympathisers see her as a victim, many have also criticised her for her audacity and unacceptable behaviour, as well as the foul language that she uses in the video.

It is later revealed that the influencer has quite a reputation, too. After the incident, more of her earlier postings and videos have surfaced, which also show how feisty the young entrepreneur is.

In one of the many videos that she had earlier shared, the lady is actually verbally abusing another woman who might have questioned the validity of her product!

The video also shows the influencer’s eloquence in her usage of profanities as she body-shames the other woman using personal photos that also include the latter’s family.

The words used are just indescribable (if not inappropriate) and the entire video could be rated as, err, rather vile. In fact, the content does sound defamatory as well.

The sad part is, the “influencer”, who is also said to be very successful in what she is doing, also has thousands of followers.

Apparently, since the video of her rant at the Melaka restaurant went viral, the number of her adoring fans has also increased — which is kind of sad, as it really says much about the current state of our society.

The problem is, the influencer is not the first to behave that way. In fact, one suspects that she is merely copying countless others who have done it “successfully” (if not shamelessly) before her.

You know, all the other social media-savvy personalities who could turn vacuous discussions and contents into effective marketing tools.

More often than not, the products they peddle are supplements that could improve sexual prowess or cosmetic goods that could improve your looks and increase your chances of, err, getting lucky.

Needless to say, the words and imagery used in the videos are really not for the faint-hearted. Censorship? Well, what about it?

Amazingly, despite objections by the more civilised quarters, Malaysians, in general seem to be rather tolerant (blasé?) about it.

Okay, some of us do have potty mouths and enjoy talking about explicit stuff, but such subjects should remain private as they might not be suitable to be shared with everyone.

In the case of the lady influencer, she might think that her position on social media has given her the licence to just do as she pleases because she has gotten away many times before (“aku dah pi satu Malaysia kot?”).

In one instance, she looks rather surprised when the restaurant owner tells her to not promote her products via the live streaming at the premises.

The influencer even justifies that she is doing the owner a favour as her live video could go viral and help boost the restaurant’s business.

No matter how one looks at it, the incident in Melaka should be a reminder to others out there that there is a limit to everything.

No matter how public you are as a person, certain things should remain private. And yes, popularity does not give you the licence to misbehave or barge into other people’s space without any prior notice.

Even established broadcast houses would have to get their papers in order before they could shoot anywhere in the world. Just saying…


Zainal Alam Kadir is the executive editor at The Malaysian Reserve.