Friday, February 20, 2009

Boycott Carl’s Jr because of Edison Chen?

We don't want him
by Rachel Chan
Source: Mypaper

MORE than a year after Hong Kong actor-singer Edison Chen found himself at the centre of a sex scandal, the 28-year-old remained toxic here.

News that he is showing up at a fast-food chain here next week sparked off controversy within the Internet community.

Chen was invited as a guest to Carl’s Jr.’s launch of its latest creation – the 100 per cent Angus Beef Thickburger – next Friday.

His imminent presence prompted an Internet user to lash out at him, triggering threats of a boycott of the chain’s products.

“He is a dubious character who is an affront to women,” the man told my paper. “I hope that Carl’s Jr. will realise that they’re making a PR fiasco.”

The executive, who is in his 40s, did not want to be identified.

Although some who spoke to my paper said they would not support a “jinx”, others were
more forgiving.

Mr Jeffrey Koh, 32, business and finance manager of film distributor Festive Films, said: “It’s time for him to come back. The incident happened so long ago.”

Chen gained notoriety last year when racy pictures of Hong Kong celebrities such as Gillian Chung were leaked on Internet forums.

A spokesman for Carl’s Jr. said: “When we chose to invite him for this event, it was based purely on friendship between his management and us,” she said.

Sports giant adidas, which also invited him to be its guest for a separate event the same day, said: “Edison Chen is a streetwear authority...and continues to maintain a strong base of consumers and followers.”

A dubious character? An affront to women? What exactly did Edison Chen do?

He took pictures of the ladies he bedded with, and he took his notebook for repair. Apparently that was all he did.

Did he force the ladies to have sex with him? Apparently not, judging from the absence of violence in the pictures, and more importantly, nobody brought him to court for rape.

Did he take those pictures secretly, without consent from the ladies, and thus violating their privacy? Apparently not, judging from the angels of the pictures, with some even looking directly at the camera.

Did he distribute the pictures to the public intentionally? Apparently not, since all of us are aware that these private pictures were leaked by the notebook repair man.

So which of the above arguement are we using to brand him as a dubious character who is an affront to women?

Of course I'm not saying that Edison Chen is a saint. He was, or who knows, still is, flirting outrageously, having multiple sex partners, and one even married. Morally, he should have deleted all evidents of sexual activities that he had participated with the ladies after their breakup. However none of the above wrongs is illegal, and it is his personal life we are talking about.

On the other hand, stealing is illegal, cheating is illegal, robbing is illegal, and of course hurting someone physically is illegal. And after these criminals had served their full sentence and repented, we said "hey, let's forgive and forget!" and started the Yellow Ribbon project, didn't we? Alas, but we're not willing to give Edison Chen a chance for comeback!

Contrary to what that executive in his forties believes, Carl’s Jr. will not be making a PR fiasco. They are fully aware that a publicity is a publicity. That scandal had made Edison Chen notorious, but notorious is also another word of "famous". His show up at Carl's Jr is a crowd guarantee, and this crowd is the attention that Carl's Jr is looking for to promote their latest product.

Imagine this, at Carl's Jr, on Friday...
AH LIAN: Hey! That Edison Chen still look so handsome leh!
AH SENG: Aiyah! Of course lah! I heard that he still having a good life in US leh!
AH LIAN: Is it? That idiot! Sigh... those girls really poor thing!
AH SENG: So what is this promotion all about har?
AH LIAN: Oh... that Carl's Jr got this new 100 per cent Angus Beef Thickburger mah! So they asked him come to promote loh!
AH SENG: 100 per cent Angus Beef Thickburger... wah! Sounds delicious leh! Want go try?

Bingo. Mission accomplished and Carl's Jr's Marketing Manager will have a pat on his/her back from the boss.

Some may argue that Singapore is still a conservative society and we should not condone such behaviour and accept such a character. But are we really in a conservative society? Or a hypocritical one?

How many Singaporean men are going to Batam or Bintan to boost the prostitution industry there? How many legal prostitutes are there in Geylang? How many Singaporeans are showing it all online? And how many on the streets like Sun Tan? How many couples are having sex at the HDB void decks and lifts, straight and gay?

And now we're saying that we do not welcome Edison Chen to step foot on our little island because we have such high morality?




  1. The point should be why outdated artists or rather artists that are no longer popular in their countries are all coming to Singapore to earn some quick bucks? Are Singapore entertainment scene that desperate? Are we taken as a fool who will accept any C-list and D-list artists that other countries would not even accept?

    It is time to rethink...

  2. Guess the problem is... A Singaporean can name you a list of outdated/popular/long-forgotten overseas artists, but when asked about who are our local artists, he/she might just present you an open mouth.

    Olivia Ong had long earned her fame in Japan before Singaporeans realised she IS a Singaporean artist.

  3. Olivia from Mirai. Loved her long ago.

  4. Well said!

    The truth is, I don't think the Yellow Ribbon project has changed the minds of mass majority of Singaporeans.

    Yes, we say that we'll give them a second chance, that's just all talk. Few people would want to hire an ex-convict, fewer would let them near their children. Perhaps they think that criminality is contagious or "leopard never change its spots"?