A CAMBODIAN actress has been banned from making new movies for a year after culture bosses in the country decided she was ‘too sexy’. Denny Kwan, 24, was handed the ban as a punishment by the Culture and Fine Arts Ministry after they decided she had broken their code of conduct.
Actress Denny Kwan, 24, who has starred in several music videos, was punished because the ministry judged that she had failed to keep a written promise to dress in a less sexy way. Kwan is said to have made the commitment during a meeting to “educate” her about her dress last May.
The actress – known in Cambodia for her sexy social media selfies – told how she was called into the ministry for a ticking off. While there, the stunning big screen star said culture chiefs “educated [her] like a daughter” over her dress sense. She was accused of breaking a code which requires public figures in the country to dress with their dignity and national identity in mind and has now been barred from doing any showbiz work for 12 months. Speaking to Cambodia Daily, Denny – who has more than 300,000 Facebook followers – said: “In Cambodia, there are many sexy artists. Some are even more than me when shooting, featuring kissing and being erotic.”
And she told the Phnom Penh Post: “I know it’s my right to dress how I want, but our culture, Cambodian people, cannot accept it. “I will now try not to be sexy as I usually am when I post on Facebook.”
Denny said she didn’t want to discuss or criticise the ruling, but observers branded the decision “appalling” and “ridiculous”. Thida Khus, head of women’s rights group Silaka, told the Post: “This situation only happens to women and it’s gender discrimination – it’s a violation of gender equality.”
And Ros Sopheap, executive director of gender equality group Gender and Development Cambodia, said: “She’s not the first one. People all over the world and in Cambodia … dress like this. Why only take action on her and block her career for a year?”
The culture ministry’s code of conduct states that it aims to promote the “preservation, maintenance of arts, culture, tradition and the identity of the nation” Chamroeun Vantha, an adviser for the ministry and chief of the disciplinary council, said: “The council members decided to punish Denny Kwan by not having any activities in the entertainment industry for one year, such as filming, karaoke and singing performances on TV.
“Secondly, we appeal to artist associations, TV [stations] and entertainment production owners to cooperate with the ministry to punish [her] by not giving her any work, like commercial spots and filming.” Denny said: “Within this one year, I will quit being sexy.”