Commenters attack Joanne Peh on Instagram after accusing her of cyberbullying child actors
On March 7, local actress and director Joanne Peh uploaded an Instagram post on her experience working with unfledged child actors.
Peh was on set to direct her upcoming short film, Under The Tree.
Here’s her post:
In summary, Peh wrote that it was a “huge challenge” working with untrained child actors, as they were not emotionally ready and often looked into the camera.
However, the director also added that it was a good first attempt on the children’s part, and reflected on what she would have done differently if she had more time.
Sudden flood of negative comments
For some inexplicable reason, Peh then received a flood of negative comments accusing her of cyberbullying the child actors.
These comments were posted one after another in a short span of time.
In short, the commenters felt that Peh was “insensitive” and “unprofessional” to write about the children’s performance.
They also saw it as unwarranted criticism, despite the fact that Peh also praised the children.
Some of them were even “offended” and disgusted by Peh’s words, and supposedly called out the director for “cyberbullying” the children.
As it is, a couple of the commenters felt that the post would have negative effects on the children, who had “no voice” to defend themselves.
A good number of them then attacked Peh’s own inexperience as a director and asked Peh to examine her own inadequacies.
Peh then replied in the comments, writing a lengthy and articulate post on what actually happened.
According to her, the negative comments only started after Peh received an angry message from the child actor’s parent, as the parent had a problem with Peh describing her child as “challenging” to work with.
Peh also stood by her point that the children were not “camera-trained” or “emotionally ready” — facts that were presented as they were.
She added that nothing else was implied from her statements.
Furthermore, she could not understand how the word “challenging” could illicit such negative views, and also touched on the filming conditions on set.
Peh then spoke about her own experience with child actors, and acting in general.
To end off, she clarified that the parents have given their verbal consent for their children’s images to be used.
Peh had also asked the offended parent on how she could have better phrased her honest opinions, but was only told to either remove the post completely or only praise the children.
Additionally, Peh has agreed to blur out the child’s face, but will not be taking down the post just yet, as she does not want a single perspective to dominate the conversation — especially when the perspective dramatises the situation and puts a negative spin on it.
Nonetheless, Peh might be removing the post when the case blows over.
Top image via Joanne Peh’s Instagram