Vietnamese pop star’s first English MV deemed negative, faces removal

By Ha Thu   April 29, 2022 | 05:30 am PT
Vietnamese pop star’s first English MV deemed negative, faces removal
A still taken from Son Tung M-TP's new MV 'There’s No One At All.'
Son Tung M-TP's first English MV, which depicts an orphan losing his way in life and committing suicide, has attracted censure and a demand for its removal from popular platforms.

The Department of Performing Arts under the culture ministry has requested that the music video, titled "There’s No One At All," be taken offline for containing "negative, non-educational messages."

In a document sent to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications Friday afternoon, the department said that the music video, released Thursday night, carried "negative, non-educational messages with scenes of violence, chases and destruction, ending with a character committing suicide."

The video has greatly impacted viewers and can promote "negative behaviors" in society, especially among children, the department argues.

It further says that there are signs that the MV has violated regulations by "using costumes, words, sounds, images, gestures, vehicles of expression and performance methods that go against Vietnamese traditions, negatively affecting society’s mental health and moral values."

The department has called for authorities to stop the video’s distribution "immediately".

Luu Dinh Phuc, head of the broadcasting authority, said they have requested Google, the platform where the video was uploaded, to take it down.

"Normally the process would take one or two days. I hope the song’s owners can remove the video themselves sooner," he said.

Son Tung M-TP, whose real name is Nguyen Thanh Tung, is yet to respond to the controversy that his new music video has attracted.

"There’s No One At All", Tung’s first song in English, features an orphan who is lonely and ostracized growing up, instilling a rebellious streak in him. The video ends with him jumping off a tall building.

Lam Minh Chanh, a businessman, said a friend who’s the principal of a kindergarten was worried that young people would learn "negative ways to resolve issues" from the music video.

Viet Nu, a media manager in Ho Chi Minh City, said each artist has his or her own creative freedom. She said she viewed the MV as a pure entertainment product with fictional content that has nothing to do with her real life.

As of Friday afternoon, 22 hours after its official release on YouTube, the video had garnered over 7.2 million views.

Son Tung M-TP, 28, is one of Vietnam’s biggest pop stars. The singer from the northern province of Thai Binh has won an MTV Europe Music Award and was included in the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Vietnam.

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