Over the years, we’ve seen more and more influencers appear in the online sphere, sharing many aspects of their lives — from their favourite products, snippets of their daily lives to their struggles with mental health.
Many social media users flock to these influencers for their good looks, relatability and unique personality, thus affording them a celebrity-like status.
Although internet fame might sound enticing, being in the public eye comes at a cost, such as being exposed for misdeeds.
Most recently, Sylvia Chan, the co-founder of local media company Night Owl Cinematics (NOC), found herself in hot soup after the anonymous social media account sgcickenrice leaked screenshots and audio clips of her allegedly using abusive language towards one of the company’s talents.
Following the leak, NOC released a statement calling the allegations “a massive crusade against public image and reputation of NOC and its employees.”
The statement was also accompanied by a Cease and Desist Letter from their lawyers.
On Wednesday (Oct 13), Chan issued a statement on her personal Instagram account, apologising for her behaviour towards her employees. She also removed herself from the company’s list of talents.
In a similar vein, other local influencers have also received pushback for their actions. Here’s a quick look at some influencer scandals that occurred recently.
1. Dee Kosh
An influencer who was also previously associated with NOC, YouTuber and former radio DJ Dee Kosh was accused in August last year of sexually harassing teenage boys. He later released a statement addressing the issue and apologised to those he had hurt.
He was charged with seven offences in August — three of which involved offering cash to boys below 18 for sexual services.
According to court documents, Dee Kosh allegedly attempted to procure an indecent act from a 15-year-old boy between March and June 2018, asking the latter to perform sexual acts in exchange for money.
He also allegedly offered $1,000 to a 17-year-old male in exchange for oral sex in July that same year. In August 2020, Dee Kosh allegedly offered another 17-year-old male $1,000 for a similar act.
The case is pending.
2. Xinde Yap
One of the talents managed by Dee Kosh’s agency, influencer and bar-owner Xinde Yap admitted to cheating on his wife in a lengthy Instagram story in December last year.
He claimed that he was “cornered” into revealing his affair when an unidentified person extorted from him $20,000 in exchange for keeping the matter offline.
Not wanting to succumb to the blackmail, he decided to “own up” to his mistakes and “face the consequences that follow”.
In the post, he apologised for his mistake, and thanked his wife Paix Wang for sticking with him. He also vowed to be a “better person, a better father and a better husband”.
Although he received some flak from netizens, the worst seems to be over for the family.
3. Royce Lee
Before he became Lazada’s Chief Discount Officer, local YouTuber Royce Lee was called out by netizens in June for his parody video, where he was seen using a hand-held gong in various situations, such as disrupting someone’s workout and flagging down a taxi.
The video — believed to be a parody of a viral Facebook clip of a Chinese woman interrupting her Hindu neighbour’s prayer ritual — incensed netizens, who claimed that Lee was being insensitive to the racial and religious issues in the original video.
Recognising that he had crossed a line, he shared a post by Beyond the Hijab on June 11, which addressed racism and xenophobia in Singapore. He also admitted to his mistakes, saying he was “tone deaf for not covering the issue” and apologised for “causing all this hurt”.
Lee then went on a hiatus to “reflect on [his] actions and responsibilities”.
4. Aloysius Ng
Local TikToker and influencer Aloysius Ng, or alloitv, was also exposed for allegedly sending sexual messages to a 17-year-old girl, including unsolicited photos of his privates in May.
Screenshots of conversations between Ng and the girl were uploaded to Instagram by Complaint.sg, including a conversation where Ng asked the girl to “judge if [his privates] were big or small”.
One day later, he posted a video claiming those messages were “taken out of context”, and that it “was a mutual thing”.
However, Complaint.sg found his explanation untenable, and posted a response: “She rejected you three times, which part of ‘No’ do you not understand? The context is, you sexually harassed a 17-year-old girl with your d*** pics despite her refusing your sexual advances.”
Ng’s video has since been deleted from his TikTok account.