Cambodia does not often make the headlines. This time it is for something extremely insensitive and offensive on a level beyond what any normal human being could be considered remotely capable of. The story relates to Autumn Allen. She is a 13-year-old American living in Cambodia. Recently, she sang on national television. At the end of the show, the hosts mentioned the fact that they knew that she had not seen her mother since 2008, when she was 6 years old. This was followed up by a proposition which would bring joy to any child. They told her that her mother was on backstage and ready to meet her.


What transpired was neither joyous, nor in any way to be considered sensitive. Ms. Allen was not greeted by her mother on live television. Instead of meeting the woman who brought to the world, a local comedian, male, came onto stage, in drag, imitating the poor girl. As a result, the already crying girl’s tears turned from those of joy to those of sadness, anger, and disappointment.


Children make jokes about each other’s mothers all of the time in playgrounds. None get to this level. The television station has since made a public apology. Let us hope that Ms. Allen finds the power to forgive them.



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