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​Vietnamese viewers say ‘nothing wrong’ with bikini-donning MC for World Cup show: poll

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 04:52 GMT+7
​Vietnamese viewers say ‘nothing wrong’ with bikini-donning MC for World Cup show: poll
This screenshot shows an emcee in a pretty sexy black bikini in a program on Vietnamese pay TV K+.

While Vietnamese viewers take a harsh view of scantily clad girls invited to offer ‘commentary’ on the 2018 FIFA World Cup on state-run VTV, they are more open to an emcee who led a pre-match show on a local pay TV, wearing nothing but a tiny bikini.

MC Thu Hang made national headlines when she appeared in several episodes of “Tien Tri Nuoc Nga” (Russian Prophet), a pre-match program featuring a seal which predicts the score of each match of the World Cup, on local pay TV K+, in swimsuit.

As the choice of outfit has been deemed inappropriate by many viewers, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has opened an online poll, asking its readers for their opinion about an emcee wearing bikini to host a World Cup program. Among the answers are “Beautiful and sexy” and “There is something wrong”.

As of 4:00 pm on Friday, nine hours after its opening, the survey fielded 3,679 votes, with 2,254 readers responding in favor of the emcee, saying her choice of outfit is beautiful and sexy.

The disapproval answer only received 445 votes.

A screen capture of the female host sitting on the side of the swimming pool during the show’s recording. Photo: Tuoi Tre.
A screen capture of the female host sitting on the side of the swimming pool during the show’s recording. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

To put this into perspective, a previous poll by Tuoi Tre, asking readers whether it is suitable to invite pretty women with little-to-no knowledge of football for World Cup commentary programs, was dominated by ‘no’ answers.

The survey found 7,053 of 12,935 respondents believing that VTV should not invite the scantily clad girls to draw attention, whereas only 4,257 answered that it is OK to have them in the show, so long as they have some football knowledge.

‘Beauty-girls’ appear in a World Cup-accompanying program. Photo: VTV
‘Beauty-girls’ appear in a World Cup-accompanying program. Photo: VTV

Should be more open

To make clear about these conflicting viewpoints, Tuoi Tre talked to some experienced sports journalists for their own views on this issue.

According to the Vietnam News Agency’s journalist Truong Anh Ngoc, the commentary program stirring controversy for inviting ‘hot girls’ is due to the fact that the show did not define their criteria from the beginning.

“If it is for commentary, they should have invited experts [only],” Ngoc said.

“But the [VTV’s] program mixed professional and entertaining criteria,” the journalist explained.

On the other hand, Ngoc spoke highly of the K+ program.

“The idea is very creative and well executed,” he said.

“Since filming takes place at a swimming pool, there’s nothing wrong with the emcee wearing bikini.”

Many European sport news programs, according to Ngoc, also often invite beautiful guests.

“They’re very beautiful and sexy,” Ngoc said.

“It is also a measure that a variety of programs employ to visually impact viewers to increase ratings,” the journalist added.

“What these Vietnamese programs are doing is not new. “

Ngoc said Vietnam's media has been behind the world for about 20 years, and during this time of international integration, the country should have a more open mind.

“In my opinion, it’s not something bad to see an MC in bikini on [Vietnamese] TV,” Ngoc concluded.

A screen capture of the female host sitting on the side of the swimming pool during the show’s recording. Photo: Tuoi Tre.
A screen capture of the female host sitting on the side of the swimming pool during the show’s recording. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

Pham An, another local journalist, shared Ngoc’s view, saying “It’s acceptable for a football commentary program to invite female fans to come to share their interest in the looks, hairstyles or shoes of the players.”

“But the most important is building a suitable format … to let the female guests show their strengths,” An said.

An is not against bikini in sport-related TV shows, reasoning that “To promote something, women are still the most attractive choice because of their appeal.”

“The boundary between attraction and offense is very thin.

“If you know how to borrow the attractiveness of a woman to draw attention from men [in a way] that leave women feel acceptable then it is fine,” An advised.

One Tuoi Tre reader has also fielded many ‘likes’ for his comment under the original story about the ‘bikini MC,’ saying “As [Thu Hang] is beautiful, there is nothing wrong as long as [she does not appear] nude on TV”.

Even so, seeing an emcee in bikini on TV is still considered unacceptable by many Vietnamese, who say even though it is on a pay TV service, there will always be children and the elderly among the viewers.

This screenshot shows an emcee in a pretty sexy black bikini in a program on Vietnamese pay TV K+.
This screenshot shows an emcee in a pretty sexy black bikini in a program on Vietnamese pay TV K+.

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Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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