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Netflix’s reality show Singapore Social cops flak for spreading ‘fake perception’ of SG

Netflix’s new trailer for its reality show, Singapore Social has copped flak on YouTube for spreading “fake perception” of Singapore. It has garnered 58,471 views, 615 dislikes and 200 comments in under three days. Marketing has reached out to Netflix for comment.

According to Netflix, the show is about “the lives of young Singaporeans as they defy expectations and traverse the tricky terrain of career, romance and family.” In the trailer, the narrator said that the Asian culture is ingrained to compete to be the best and adhere to “strict, traditional values” at the expense of happiness, leading some to be “rebellious”.

However, netizens called out the trailer for focusing heavily on parties, alcohol, nightlife and drama. One commentator said: “Where is the career, romance or family [in the synopsis]? Okay, maybe a two-second scene of family gathering.” Many chimed in on the authenticity of the show, stating that it is “a reality show that does not reflect the reality” and that it is “a disgrace to misrepresent the majority of young Singaporeans like that”.

Others question the amount of research that goes into the show and the lack of Singaporeans featured in the trailer. Some commentators also pointed out the similarity of Crazy Rich Asians, saying that it is a “desperate attempt” at creating content and the “worst Netflix trailer of all time”.

Many Singaporeans claimed that they will be boycotting the show, as it serves no meaningful purpose. One commentator said: “Really? A whole documentary on shallow, attention craving, spoiled rich kids who spend all their time wasting money at parties and creating stupid drama. This is what Netflix Asia wants to show the world?”

It is not the first time Netflix is subjected to netizens’ wrath in Southeast Asia. In April, it ruffled feathers in Malaysia with its new culinary documentary series Street Food Asia, which features the various street food in Asia. Malaysians, who pride themselves on the plethora of culinary dishes the country has to offer, were upset when Malaysia was left out from the list of countries featured in the documentary series. Some took to Twitter to voice their displeasure, with some commenting that nearly every other Southeast Asian country is featured in the series except for Malaysia.

Following this, Malaysian radio station BFM 89.9 and independent advertising agency Fishermen collaborated to launch #BersatuForMakan (Unite for Food). The campaign was a call to all Malaysians to unite for the love of local food, taking a hit at Netflix for excluding Malaysia from its documentary series Street Food Asia, while featuring neighbouring countries Singapore and Indonesia.

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