Vietnam clip makers apologize for ‘kiss cam’ joke

A group of clip makers have recently made an apology for their video, strongly criticized for its controversial content about a joke called “kiss cam”

A scene from the clip shows a member of the group kissing a foreign man on the street in Ho Chi Minh City.

A group of clip makers have recently made an apology for their video, strongly criticized for its controversial content about a joke called “kiss cam.”

>> An audio version of the story is available here

It might sound the same but it is actually completely different from the well-known namesake social game at sporting events in the U.S. and Canada in which a “kiss cam” camera scans the crowd and selects a couple then they are invited to kiss each other and their kiss will be shown on a big screen.

The new “kiss cam” game in Vietnam was recorded in the video titled “Kiss cam: Một ngày dạo phố” (Kiss cam: A day around the city) posted on YouTube on June 23.

The footage captured the game players shouting out the word “kiss cam” in front of the camera, driving around Ho Chi Minh City to look for their “targets,” and then suddenly giving them a surprise kiss on their lips before running away.

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Her boyfriend is about to attack the kisser.

The video was the Vietnamese version of a clip in which several young Western people, who were playing the “kiss cam” joke, kissed strange people on streets and then fled away.

The Vietnamese version got published on YouTube a few days after the foreign video was shared widely on social media.

The Vietnamese clip has received tons of criticism from people who said the joke was unacceptable to local culture.

“It’s good to imitate civilized cultures but you must understand what you’re going to do,” Le Minh commented on YouTube. “What is copied must be tailored to suit Vietnamese culture.”

“Lip kissing is an important act in the Vietnamese context,” he added. “It’s only for lovers, between husbands and wives, and it often takes place in private.”

Minh said the unthinking imitation reflects the clip makers’ mindlessness.

Meanwhile, others expressed their concerns over the risk of diseases spreading via the kisses or even the affray possibly triggered by the joke.

Lawyer Nguyen Van Hau, vice president of the Ho Chi Minh City Lawyers Association, said that the joke was considered offensive in Vietnamese culture and adversely influenced public lifestyle.

Dao Le Hoa An, director of strategy at the Y Tuong Viet life skill training center, even regarded the joke as public sexual abuse.

He said kissing is a private thing in Vietnam and people cannot kiss strangers on streets just for fun.

“If you suddenly kiss somebody without their permission, the act could be considered an instance of public sexual abuse,” he emphasized.

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The girl's boyfriend threw his shoes at the kisser after this scene.

A representative of the group told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on June 26 that the video was made by a team of 20 people.

He said after every kissing scene, they did apologize to the people who were kissed and explained that the group was only making a trendy and funny video.

The main purpose of the video primarily was bringing fun to everybody, then showing young people that which foreign cultural behavior should or should not be re-enacted in Vietnam, he explained.

“We initially wanted to make a funny video and we also imagined that things could go wrong,” the group representative said.

He added that the team members had not thought that the public would vent such strong criticism even though they had anticipated that the video would be in the spotlight.

“We apologized for that and will take it as a lesson so that our group will produce better content in the future,” he added.

The video is currently no long available on YouTube.

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