Officials Criticize Violent, Obscene Comedies

Officials and Phnom Penh Roy­al University professors ex­pressed concern Wednes­day about the nega­tive social impact of obscene and violent content in Cam­bodian comedy shows.

Comedians often use abusive lang­uage and hit each other on the head with empty plastic bottles to get laughs, which are “acts of hu­­man abuse toward men and wo­men,” Sok Chan Chhor Vy, de­puty director gen­er­al of the Wo­men’s Affairs Min­istry, said Wednes­day at a meet­ing on gender equal­i­ty attended by journalists and actors.

“Comedians should have morality and virtue in their performances,” said Royal University of Fine Arts Professor Kauv So­theary.

“They have used abusive words in their performances and women of­ten suffer,” she said.

“Youths are very comfortable copy­ing it,” she added. “Pre­vious­ly, Cambodian comedians have made audiences laugh without us­ing abusive words or violent per­for­mances.”

Wo­men’s Affairs Ministry Dir­ector General Keth Sam Ath said her ministry will work with the min­istries of information and culture to eliminate all forms of TV violence.

“Other countries are very careful with art, be­cause it strongly in­flu­­ences people,” she said. “We need to change the attitudes of peo­­­ple in society to [cease] using abu­­sive words for com­­­munication and performance.

“Comedians should not think of only money,” she added. “Audiences that like such performances do not understand much of Khmer morality.”

Comedian Ou Buna­rath de­clined to comment but said he suggested the ministries start the campaign by checking Phnom Penh’s many theaters showing pornographic and violent movies.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith could not be reached for comment Wednes­day.


Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.