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Indonesians Vs On-Screen Villains

If you’re around my age or older, you might have known about the famous soap opera Bawang Merah Bawang Putih

To be honest, the only thing I still quite remember about that show is the fact that Nia Ramadhani became the public enemy because her acting as Bawang Merah was so convincing. She successfully made Bawang Merah came into life, that people got carried away by the despicable character. However, they forgot that Bawang Merah was only a fictional character. They were being ridiculous by telling mean stuff about how she must also be that cruel in real life and hating her just because of her realistic portrayal of Bawang Merah. Years after, I see that the “hate” has blown away completely. People who don’t watch the soap opera don’t know anything except the viral recording of her not knowing how to peel salak

If you think instances where the viewers bully actors or actresses for playing antagonists has stopped there, you’re wrong. Maybe some of you have heard about a soap opera titled Cinta Hati Seorang Ibu. I just happened to watch a few episodes, but I got the tea. Apparently, Cut Meyriska had a similar experience with Nia Ramadhani because the character she played, Karin, was so convincing. She successfully made Karin, the annoying pelakor, came to life. Again, people forgot that it was only a fictional character. They bashed Cut Meyriska although she didn’t share negative traits with the character she played.

Okay, if you still can’t fully grasp the problem, I’ll bring up something similar in recent years. Remember Reemar and that Korean actress who played the antagonists in World of the Married? They got bashed by Indonesian audiences for something they haven’t done. I don’t quite understand Reemar’s case, but I know that lots of Indonesians were replaying the old song for the Korean actress. She received tons of mean comments from Indonesians because they thought the character’s persona was also hers in real life.

Or, if you still can’t relate to it, remember the popular short film, Tilik? One of the characters, Mrs. Tejo, was played by Siti Fauziah. Mrs. Tejo is your typical gossip-source lady. Siti Fauziah’s acting stood out, successfully making Mrs. Tejo the most popular character in the movie. Guess what happens next. Yes, she got bullied because of the character she played. From the interviews I watched online, I got a sense that Siti Fauziah is not as annoying as Mrs. Tejo is. Too bad she has to receive such bad experiences.

This phenomenon of audience collectively hating actors or actresses just because these people did a splendid job of making their characters believable is amusing. Despite knowing the fact that the characters are fictional and so are the films—which means they’re not some sort of real story—they whole-heartedly bashed someone, hoping the bad personalities in the fictional character will only stay in the film. Another reason why they bash these people could be because they think these actors or actresses dragged such personality they have in real life into the characters or vice versa, and they just don’t like it.

But nothing is costless. This whole ”bashing-someone-for-no-particular-reason-or-just-because-I-hate-the-character” culture had become something to mock or be made fun of by people, especially the international netizens. Reemar and the Korean actress’ cases are the perfect examples. 

So, how do we fix this matter so that it won’t happen again? Here’s the thing. Usually, ordinary people like us have three faces: the one we show on public, the one we show to people we know, and the one we keep to ourselves. Meanwhile, public figures (actors included) have four faces. Three of them are basically the same as ours, with the addition of their on-screen face. For non-actor public figures, their on-screen face/persona is everything they share publicly. For actors, they have the film face and non-film on-screen face like other public figures. 

We have to keep in mind that this on-screen face can be so deceiving. Your favorite YouTuber might be the most energetic person you see on the screen. But they could be shy or socially awkward in real life. The same thing happens to actors and actresses of the film/drama/soap opera you watch. They may seem, pardon my language, annoying or evil as hell, but that’s just the fictional character’s persona. The personality they adopt doesn’t go out of films/dramas/soap operas they’re in. If you happen to meet them in real life, you might be surprised to know how they actually act.

All in all, I really do hope that this phenomenon changes or goes away.

3 thoughts on “Indonesians Vs On-Screen Villains”

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