Forum: Drama series could inadvertently reinforce stereotypes

I refer to Mr Chiew Boon Leong's Forum letter (Drama series not a case of discrimination against group, July 20).

First, threats and abusive messages which were sent to Brandon Wong and Kym Ng, are never the way to make a point or solve disagreements. It is wrong and unfruitful to resort to such tactics.

More importantly, I would like to address Mr Chiew's point that as the show was a depiction of everyday life in Singapore, the story could have been about a bad father physically or sexually abusing his child, and it would "not make much sense for fathers to be up in arms over the depiction of an abusive father in a drama series".

To be clear, any such abuse is abhorrent regardless of gender or sexuality.

But Mr Chiew's example is a false equivalent. Fathers in general are not a group who have to put up with discrimination in their daily lives just because they are fathers.

But people within the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community face constant challenges to their dignity, having to deal with many untruths, misconceptions and baseless negative stereotypes painting them in generally unfavourable terms. All this over and above many other subtle forms of casual discrimination towards them.

While the show's storyline may in and of itself not be discriminatory, it could inadvertently reinforce such false stereotypes.

Imagine a story portraying false stereotypes about a minority race rather than sexuality. Maybe then the concern will be more obvious.

Howard Wan

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