When Cambodian actress Denny Kwan was last week banned for appearing in any movies for a year because the Culture Ministry deemed that her skin-baring outfits violated a code of conduct for “virtue,” the decision made international headlines.
Now the information minister, Khieu Kanharith, has weighed into the debate, calling the ban into question. On Thursday, Mr. Kanharith, whose ministry is in charge of controlling the media, posted a note on his Facebook page asking for a better explanation for why the ministry banned Ms. Kwan from any arts activities for a year because of the way she dresses.
“I have never known her, and I also don’t care about what she wears outside the stage, but banning her from acting has to have clear evidence,” he commented.
He also shared a photograph of an internal communication, on which he had written, “What has she done that violates the Culture Ministry’s recommendation?”
Ms. Kwan has appeared in numerous movies and amassed more than 300,000 Facebook followers.
Last week, Chamroeun Vantha, director-general of the Culture Ministry’s disciplinary and praise council, said the 24-year-old was accused of violating a 2010 code relating to national “ethics” and “virtue.”
On Thursday, he was standing firmly by the decision of his council, which judges the conduct of Cambodian artists.
He said officials had sent a letter to the Information Ministry on Tuesday so it could prevent Ms. Kwan from appearing on television and radio stations.
According to Mr. Vantha, the Information Ministry has yet to formally address the concerns.
Meanwhile, the woman at the center of all the attention said on Thursday that although she accepted the Culture Ministry’s ban, she agreed with Mr. Ka-
“What he said is like what I thought: that I was not being sexy in the movies,” Ms. Kwan said. “I was only being sexy outside [the movies], just for my personal rights.”
“Overall, I firmly keep my stance that my sexiness has not destroyed the culture.”
She added that she didn’t “wear sexy clothes to greet monks or go to the pagoda” or when visiting places to help poor children and older people.
“My style follows the time and situation,” she said.