Oct 27, 2007

Hoang Thuy Linh: sex tape surfaces in Vietnam

The sex tape featuring Paris Hilton and then-boyfriend, Rick Salomon, didn't hurt Hilton's tabloid notoriety - if anything it gave her fame a boost. Her image has been all over the media ever since. Irritatingly so.

Pretty much the opposite has been the case for Vietnamese TV star, Hoang Thuy Linh, when a sex tape she made with her boyfriend was posted on the internet. It was a private video that boyfriend, Vu Hoang Viet, kept on his computer. It became public when an associate copied it from Viet's laptop and passed it onto other friends, eventually ending up on the net.

Vietnam has a conservative culture when it comes to sexual matters. Thuy Linh in a sense epitomized this view. In the Vietnamese TV show, Vang Anh's Diaries, she played the role of a young woman who is quite progressive in her thinking but who also holds to the traditional female virtues known as cong, dung, ngon, and hanh - roughly translated as tidy, charming, soft spoken and chaste.

It came as quite a shock for Vietnamese surfers to see their star getting hot and heavy with a camera recording every raunchy move.

Of course the old double standard is alive and well. While Thuy Linh is being outed as a whore and reprobate, her boy friend isn't suffering the same level of vilification. According to a few people interviewed about the tape - Thuy Linh's career is ruined and she will never be forgiven by the public. Her boy friend Vu Hoang Viet on the other hand, can anticipate forgiveness and some measure of understanding, perhaps even admiration.

Thuy Linh made a teary confession on TV as she stepped down as teen role model. She expressed deep regret for her "terrible mistake" and apologized to her parents, teachers and friends.

It's pathetic that Thuy Linh is being sacrificed to appease traditional two-faced morality.