VTV removes 'hot girl' commentators from World Cup commentary program

By Dang Khoa   November 25, 2022 | 02:42 am PT
National broadcast station VTV has stopped showing a segment of ‘hot girl’ commentators in the 2022 World Cup commentary programs after a series of controversies.

This segment has been scrapped from the program starting Nov. 24 and the organizers invited other experts.

"Thank you, VTV for listening to us. At least tonight, the commentary program is no longer flooded with attractive girls sitting on bar stools just to look beautiful," a Facebook account named Truc Nhi wrote online.

"I also noticed that change when watching the show last night. It’s great to see that VTV listens to audience feedbacks," Trung Quan wrote in an online football discussion group.

When the World Cup officially kicked off on Nov. 20, VTV launched a sport commentary program with the participation of 32 girls representing 32 teams attending the biggest football event on the planet.

A screen shot of hot girl commentators in VTV’s Turn It Up With FIFA World Cup 2022 commentary program

A screen shot of "hot girl" commentators in VTV’s "Turn It Up With FIFA World Cup 2022" commentary program.

In the previous shows of the program, the cast of attractive female commentators could be seen wearing stylized deep-cut jerseys and skimpy skirts while answering some simple questions in the comment section of matches.

Online viewers, however, criticized them for statements that revealed a lack of football expertise.

For instance, Cao Thu Trang representing the Brazilian football team mistook England for Chelsea.

"Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling helped Chelsea FC have the upper game," the 21-year-old commented about England’s 6-2 victory against Iran on Nov. 21.

Her statement was later widely shared on social media and quickly drew mixed reactions from netizens.

While many viewers laughed about her "naive" statement, many complained that a commentator should not make false statements on live national TV.

In addition to making claims about how "die hard" of a football fan they are, netizens pointed out that sometime these girls also said things that have nothing to do with the game.

Poet Nguyen Quang Thieu, chairman of the Vietnam Writers' Association, said on Facebook that he does not agree with the inclusion of beautiful girls in the commentary program just to "play the role of a fan of a certain team and occupy a certain amount of broadcast time."

They said simple sentences like "Let’s go Argentina" or "Let’s go Qatar" and always predict the team they represent will win. This adds no professional value to the program.

Several people took to social media to express their displeasure at the broadcast station, claiming that it devalued women in general by allowing the girls to talk promiscuously about football and then getting laughed at.

Community organization Vietnam organization for Gender Equality (VOGE) wrote on Facebook the station is just using these women as "decoration" to "please male audiences" watching the show.

Nguyen Phuong Mai, associate professor of cross-cultural management at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, wrote on her Facebook that VTV should have invited 32 female footballers from Vietnam’s women national football team instead of choosing 32 beautiful girls.

"Doing so will be both civilized and meaningful, while honoring the talents of local players and helping to break stereotypes about women and sports," she wrote.

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