Last week, Viet Nam News asked readers for their thoughts on a new decree, effective from January 1, which stipulates that artists who wear revealing clothes or lip-sync on-stage or are offensive in other ways, will be subject to harsh penalties.
Here are some responses.
Brett Palser, Australian, HCM City
Without sounding like an old stick-in-the-mud, I don’t think it would be a bad thing if a few other countries also did something like this. Just look at the antics of some of the younger performers these days who act-up just to get attention.
With these kinds of penalties, perhaps the artists can actually prove how good they are just with their talent rather than how outrageous their antics or revealing their clothing. Yes, I guess I am an old stick-in-the-mud.
Giang Le, Vietnamese, Ha Noi
Considering Vietnamese culture, I think it’s necessary to have such decree. If you take a look at the various news sites and entertainment news magazines, they are filled with news of showbiz stars and young artists who are more well-known for their outrageous outfits or revealing clothes rather than their musical or acting talents.
However, how can the decree be enforced? In many cases, I know that these fines are not high enough to both many show-biz personalities because they earn one hundred times more than the fine in one performance.
There’s also a thin line between the interpretation of what is offensively revealing and the protection of an artist’s idiosyncratic behaviour.
For example, in contemporary arts, artists often go free-style. It’s about going beyond the normal boundaries. Lawmakers must be really knowledgeable in identifying when the line is crossed..
If we become too strict, we can destroy creativity in the performing arts. For example, Dao Anh Khanh, a popular contemporary artist, is well known for his acts and outfits. Some consider him crazy. To others, he represents the peak of contemporary art.
Where do we draw the line?
JD Kellas, Australian, Hoi An
It is important that a nation’s performers consider their country’s moral standards and what is acceptable in their own society. They should not simply follow Western influences, which can be all too readily accessed in movies and on TV.
These may lead to moral decline and give the performers, and the nation an unwarranted sleazy reputation, such as certain parts of Bangkok.
Viet Nam is a beautiful country with many beautiful people, both spiritually and physically. There is no need to cheapen society by risque or suggestive performances. Keep Viet Nam beautiful and wholesome.
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi
Any effort to preserve Vietnamese culture gets two thumbs up in my book. When I go on holiday to Bangkok, I know I can have anything on display. However, I am not sure how Vietnamese authorities would enforce a rule that too much bare skin in public places as illegal.
I think Vietnamese girls are beautiful just as they are, without make up and with long silky black hair, and those flowing ao dai dresses. There is a danger in enforcing morals.What if granny starts dancing after a few glasses of wine at a family dinner and gets a little too excited?
When I was at university, a libel lawyer gave us a talk. I asked why not just give us a list of words and phrases that can’t be used? It’s impossible. Art and entertainment is much the same.
If you tell someone they can’t have it or it is out of stock, people demand more. Feel free to ban Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus – and Lady Gaga is no lady. They belong to the circus in Bangkok.
Ngo Viet Anh, Vietnamese, Da Nang
I think it’s extremely difficult to define how much sexiness is enough. Just look at how sexy the Korean-pop performers are and our youngsters are crazy about them.
In some cases, artists accidentally reveal parts of their body on stage. In other cases, it’s done intentionally to gain some fame and spotlight.
If we really want to convict and fine performers and artists. If we do, the fines should be higher. Some Vietnamese artists don’t care about fines. They are even willing to pay more to be in the spotlight.
We need to educate the younger generations of showbiz performers that if you don’t have the talent, you can’t last long.
But a warning! Maybe with this decree, we won’t have any more scandal!
John Boag, American, HCM City
The world is emerged in the greatest financial crisis of our lifetime, a great recession I call it. The young attempting to enter the workforce are now being called the lost generation.
While governments struggle to help their citizens through these troubled times, it would appear that the Vietnamese Government is more concerned with adultery, attire and lip-syncers.
If he primary objective of this nation is to encourage investment, one can only imagine the negative response from the outside world following the announcement of these fines.
Hollywood outsources much of its work to create jobs. For example, New Zealand did special effects for the movie Avatar and Lord of the Rings.
Could we ask Hollywood producers to work in Viet Nam under the new conditions? How do these laws help the economy of Viet Nam? — VNS
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