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Vietnam scans law for punishable behavior of scantily-clad model in Cannes

Saturday, June 08, 2019, 19:18 GMT+7
Vietnam scans law for punishable behavior of scantily-clad model in Cannes
Vietnamese model Ngoc Trinh walks on the red carpet at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 19, 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Vietnam’s culture ministry officials are looking through the country’s existing legal texts to find a punishable behavior of a model who drew criticism over her appearance at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in France wearing a revealing dress, Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien said Wednesday.

Model Ngoc Trinh arrived on the red carpet of the annual film festival on May 19 for the screening of German film A Hidden Life at the invitation of a private sponsor.

Appearing in a scanty see-through black gown, the 30-year-old brimmed with confidence as she posed in front of cameras amongst international stars.

UK media described Trinh’s ensemble as “daring” and “outrageously skimpy”.

Her appearance has been rapped in Vietnam with social media users criticizing her choice of outfit, which they described as unfit for a formal event like Cannes.

Vietnamese model Ngoc Trinh walks on the red carpet at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 19, 2019. Photo: Getty Images
Vietnamese model Ngoc Trinh walks on the red carpet at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 19, 2019. Photo: Getty Images

“Ngoc Trinh’s outfit was improper, offensive and should be condemned by public opinion,” Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said Wednesday.

He was responding to legislators’ queries during a Q&A session of Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly in Hanoi.

“She was not sent [to Cannes] by the ministry,” Thien said.

“We are studying current laws to find a punishable point in such cases,” he added, referring to improper behaviors of Vietnamese citizens while abroad.

Vietnam's Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien speaks during a Q&A session of the lawmaking National Assembly on June 5, 2019. Photo: quochoi.vn
Vietnam's Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien speaks during a Q&A session of the lawmaking National Assembly on June 5, 2019. Photo: quochoi.vn

Last month, ministry spokesperson Nguyen Thai Binh said how Ngoc Trinh chose to show up for the film festival is “her business” since she did not represent any official Vietnamese agencies.

A 2013 government decree in Vietnam dictates a fine of VND5-10 million (US$215-430) for artists or performers who wear improper outfits on stage.

However, legal experts have said it would be near impossible to fine Ngoc Trinh for this violation, as she was not technically “performing” in Cannes and there is no clear definition of what are considered “improper” outfits.

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