Harith Iskander, MH370 Family & Others Respond To Jocelyn Chia's Viral Standup Video
Comedian Jocelyn Chia has gone viral and drawn ire from Malaysians for making jokes about missing flight MH370 while performing a standup routine at Comedy Cellar in New York
In the aftermath of the viral video, many celebrities have also responded to her set, including Malaysian comedian Harith Iskander.
In a two-minute clip posted by Harith on his social media accounts, he mentioned that the tragic event of the missing flight is still deeply traumatic for many Malaysians.
"As a comedian, I respect the freedom of expression that we comedians require to do our job," he said.
"But it is equally important to exercise some level of sensitivity and empathy when doing certain material, especially (with) topics that are deeply personal or tragic," he added.
Harith went on to say that comedians must be aware of the power of their words
The comedian also stated that comedy is a subjective art form, and what one finds amusing may not be the same for others.
"As a Singaporean, she should have been a little bit smarter to realise that in this age of social media, picking on a Malaysian in the audience and then bringing up MH370 is going to get up on the Internet," he said.
"Ultimately, as a comedian, my intention is to make people laugh, and I believe comedians and standup comedy should strive to create a positive and inclusive comedic environment," he added.
Harith then concluded by telling Chia that while Malaysia is still a developing nation, it is definitely "first world" when it comes to being kind and thoughtful.
"Don't know about other countries though, wink wink," he said in jest.
In contrast to Harith's remarks, Malaysian comedian Jason Leong supported Chia's set
On Chia's post of her own routine on Instagram, which has since been taken down, Leong commented that he "loved this bit", to which Chia responded that she didn't understand why some people took it so seriously.
Singaporean comedian Fakkah Fuzz reposted Chia's viral video on his Instagram Story and wrote, "Laughing out loud (LOL), Chia doesn't give a f--k (DGAF)."
Meanwhile, Chia was also seen defending her jokes in her Instagram post.
Responding to a Malaysian's comment who pointed out that tragedy is not a joke, Chia wrote, "Tragedy plus time equals comedy. It's been long enough, man."
She, however, did not address that the missing plane is an unresolved case, where talks about searching the plane are still ongoing until today.
The viral video has also gotten the attention of Intan Maizura Othaman, the wife of a MH370 victim, who showed displeasure to Chia's performance
Intan lost her husband, Mohd Hazrin Mohamed Hasnan, who was a Malaysia Airlines crew member on the flight that went missing on 8 March 2014.
"You don't have to pull this kind of stupidity to get any kind of validation from people. Having a heart and living in a developing country is so much better compared to you, who lives in a first world country but is a heinous human being," she said in an Instagram Story.
"Can we stop normalising doing all these stupid stunts to get validation from people? It's bad and tasteless," she added.
New Straits Times also reported that Intan left a comment in a now-deleted video of Chia's set.
"When you attend a show that features an incompetent lawyer turned unfunny comedian, this is what you get. The epitome of a heinous human!" she wrote.