It seems number of followers, not talent, determines your standing in the Malaysian entertainment industry.
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1 million followers, that’s the magic figure that someone needs to get casted in the local production scene.
The revelation caused quite a stir on the net with netizens puzzled whether the selection is made based on popularity or actual talent.
Celebrities question requirement
Actor Iedil Dzuhrie Alaudin said on Twitter that it’s no use wasting his efforts on getting a role considering that he won’t hit that 1 million follower requirement even though he has 20 years’ worth of experience under his belt.
Dari sebuah syarikat penyiaran ternama; Followers IG over 1 juta? Lambat lagilah aku nak dapat job di Malaysia ni. Walaupun sudah lebih 20 tahun aku mengabdikan diri, tapi kriteria yang macam ini yang mereka cari. Bye👋🏻 pic.twitter.com/ihV0dv8UP0— Iedil Dzuhrie Alaudin (@iedildzuhrie) November 25, 2021
Other local personalities also had their say on the matter, with Bront Palarae saying that this is the reason why it’s difficult for the local film industry to grow.
Penurunan penonton di stesyen tempatan berpunca dari salah “content curation” 10tahun lepas…. Kesan polisi “1m followers Tom, Dick & Harry” hari ni, akan terlihat beberapa tahun lagi. Desperation leads to bad decisions. You’ll reap what you sow. #Syabas— Bront Palarae (@Bront_Palarae) November 25, 2021
Meanwhile, actress Sharifah Amani said that companies and practitioners should shun the production houses that have this kind of requirement.
Saw this on FB & the producer yg shared it cakap dia tak sudi pitch story to this company. This is how we help each other. Leave & do not work with companies that have this stupid criteria. Geng yg dah ada followers 1 juta & more speak up for your fellow practitioners. 💪❤️🙏 https://t.co/50c9v5STkw— Sharifah Amani 🇲🇾 (@sharifahamani) November 25, 2021
Netizens were surprised
Malaysians were equally puzzled when they saw the requirement, with Lawyer Syahredzan Johan asking why do you need that many when even the current Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri only has less than 400,000 followers.
Boss, PM pun followers IG tak sampai 500K 😆. Susah sangat ni… pic.twitter.com/PglkgVUzyO— Syahredzan Johan (@syahredzan) November 25, 2021
One user also pointed out that you don’t need followers to make good movies or ads, citing the late great Mamat Khalid who preferred to pick his cast based on talent instead as an example.
Kalau arwah Mamat Khalid pon pilih 1 juta pengikut baru nak ambil berlakon, tak kenal la kita dgn Yeh Sekupang, Usop Wilcha, Kak Limah dll.— FreePalestine🇵🇸🇲🇾 (@TiadaCarut) November 25, 2021
Unkempt in both stories and appearance, Hakim loves tech but tech left him on read, previously he used to write about tall buildings and unoccupied spaces that he can't afford, and legend has it that he still can't afford it to this day