A Cambodian TV station has offered an apology to Autumn Allen after their brutal Mother’s Day prank at the 13-year-old’s expense sparked international outrage.
Singer Autumn Allen moved to Cambodia when she was just 6-years-old, according to the Daily Mail, and hasn’t seen her mother for years. Last week, Autumn was invited to take part in a Mother’s Day special on MyTV variety show Penh Chet Ort (Like It Or Not), during which she was told that she would be reunited with her mother. Allen believes that her mother lives in Arizona and described the possibility of one day meeting her again as “a dream come true” while on the show.
Cambodian TV show tells Autumn Allen she’s going to meet her mom before man in drag appears … pic.twitter.com/Xt3BqkT57K
— DailyNew5 (@DailyNew5) May 12, 2015
After a long build-up, however, it was not Autumn’s mother who joined her onstage, but rather cross-dressing comedian Chuop Rolin. The presenters asked Allen if she had thought their prank was real, to which Autumn responded “I don’t know.”
The prank sparked worldwide condemnation from viewers and social media users after the show aired, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Observers accused the show’s producers of taking advantage of Allen, with callous disregard for the girl’s emotions.
“Such a brainless and shameful trick from MYTV!” one viewer, Kanika Chhit, commented on Facebook. “How can you play with her feeling like this?”
— Taulukos (@taulukos) May 13, 2015
Speaking with the Phnom Penh Post, Autumn revealed that she was initially disappointed when she realized that the entire incident had been a ruse. Allen admitted, however, that the comedian did make her laugh despite her emotions in the moment, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
“At the moment I was sad that I could not see my real mother, but I had fun doing the show,” Autumn recalled. “My dad was very proud of how I handled myself in the situation. He took me to a nice restaurant afterward.”
MyTV producers have since offered an apology to Allen for the prank, admitting that it was a mistake. Autumn shared the news on her Facebook page, imploring her fans to forgive the TV station.
“I have met with MyTV and accepted their sincere apologies. The two hosts, Rolin and Taboi (the producer) have apologized to me personally. Even the Deputy General Manager of the MyTV was there. A mistake happen and I have forgiven them. Thank you for every one supports. Please find it in your heart to forgive them too. Love, Autumn”
Autumn Allen says that despite the prank, she still hopes to one day reconnect with her mother.
[Image: MyTV via the Daily Mail]