What a Cambodian television station did to a 13-year-old singer on live television should not be considered a Mother’s Day prank. It should be considered, at the very least, mental abuse. The television station in question was MYTV out of Cambodia. The 13-year-old was Autumn Allen.
Autumn Allen has not seen her mother, let alone spent a Mother’s Day with her, since she was 6-years-old. Her and her father moved to Cambodia, and her mother elected to stay behind in the United States. Autumn was invited to perform on the Penh Chet Ort (Like It or Not) television show with the expectation that she would be singing with her mother in the audience.
You can imagine the horror this young lady went through with what she was met with. Instead of a Mother’s Day filled with wonderful memories, she received Cambodian comedian Chuop Rolin dressed in drag — all this coming after Allen had tearfully talked of the last time she was with her mom.
“She held me and kissed me and told me that she would always love me.”
Despite all of this, the girl held up through the entire episode. To add insult to injury, it was all caught on tape for the television audience to see.
In an interview with the Phnom Pehn Post, Autumn opened up about what she was feeling on Mother’s Day.
“On that day I was very excited because I thought [my mother] was actually coming. At the moment I was sad that I could not see my real mother, but I had fun doing the show. Initially I was disappointed, but Rolin made me laugh so I had fun on the show. My dad was very proud of how I handled myself in the situation. He took me to a nice restaurant afterward.”
She might have taken it okay. However, the Mother’s Day prank drew outrage from across the web. Kanika Chhit, political analyst and founder of Future Forum Ou Virak, lashed out via Facebook to all of those involved in the malicious prank.
“Such a brainless and shameful trick from MYTV! A**, how can you play with her feeling like this? The producer was stupid and brainless and heartless by playing around with the mind and heart of a 13 year old girl in this way. They lied to this girl that her mother she hasn’t met for a very long time will be reunited on live TV, only to be presented with a cross dressing comedian. The joke of the cross dressing is also a sickening joke of people of LGBT and it is just all too common on Cambodian TVs.”
The producers of the show have admitted to their mistake, but that is too little, too late. Allen continues to hope that someday she can be reunited with her mother. She believes she lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hopefully, if any good can come from this Mother’s Day prank, it will be to let her mom know she is still looking for her.
[Photo from Penh Chet Ort]