Culture

A Couple Of Dickhead Influencers Got Deported From Bali For Painting Masks On Their Faces

You know what they say: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Influencers Painting masks deported bali

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During tough times, there’s always one thing you can always count on: influencers doing something bad.

In the last 12 months alone, we’ve witnessed influencers turning the Black Lives Matter protests into content for their Instagram pages. More locally, we were also forced to watch an Aussie YouTuber give out beers at Invasion Day events to apparently “raise awareness for their day, for their rights and that”.

And now we have a couple of influencers travelling to Bali during a pandemic and filming “mask pranks” to put vulnerable people at risk for the sake of “content”.

Yes, you read that right. On April 22, US-based Taiwanese YouTuber Josh Paler Lin and Russian influencer Leia ‘Lisha’ Se landed in hot water when Lin decided to paint a mask on Se after she was denied entry from a store in Bali, Indonesia.

Vlogging the whole experience for social media, the video shows how Lin and Se used makeup to create a makeshift “mask” to enter the Badung supermarket in an attempt to side-step the strict mask mandates that are currently in place in Indonesia.

After capturing footage of the pair passing security and walking around the supermarket in the paint, the video was shared with Lin’s 3.4 million social media followers where it quickly went viral and was naturally met with criticism before being removed.

“Can afford prestige cars worth hundred of dollars but cant afford 1.5 US dollar bundle 5pcs of masks. LOLOLOLOL,” one person said.

“Bunch of clowns. Everything seems to be a joke to them. Rubbish mentality and behaviour,” wrote another.

“This is very INSENSITIVE content! COVID is NOT A JOKE! People lost their loved ones because of this virus!” someone else exclaimed.

Following the backlash, Lin and Se issued an official apology video titled ‘Clarification Statement’ on April 24. In the video, Lin and Se sat next to their lawyer and finally wore a mask to explain that they had no intention to “disrespect or to invite everyone to not wear a mask”.

“I made this video to entertain people because I am a content creator and it is my job to entertain people,” Lin said. “I would like to invite everyone in Indonesia and Bali to always wear mask for our own safety and health. So we can help Bali to gain its tourism again.”

During the video, the pair’s lawyer added that his clients had “realised their fault” and “promised to not repeat the same mistake again” but it was too little too late.

The offending influencers had their passports seized in relation to the prank two days later, and are now in an immigration centre awaiting deportation for their offences.

 

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A post shared by Josh Paler Lin (@joshpalerlin)

With over 1.6 million cases and more than 45,000 deaths, Indonesia is currently the South East Asian country that has been hardest hit by coronavirus. In Bali, foreigners caught not wearing a mask risk a fine of one million rupiah ($90 AUD) for a first offence, and deportation for the second. However, the government decided to deport the influencers for their prank despite it only being a first offence due to the notoriety of their video.

Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi, Bali’s civil service police unit head, explained that the pair deserved a more severe punishment than a fine because “they are not only violating, but deliberately provoking in public to defy health guidelines.”

Jamaruli Manihuruk, head of the Bali office for the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, agreed in a press conference and shared that Josh Paler Lin and Leia ‘Lisha’ Se would indeed be deported once they were tested for COVID-19 and flights were found for them.

But this isn’t the first time that authorities in Indonesia have deported foreigners for disobeying COVID-19 restrictions either. In June 2020, Barakeh Wissam, a Syrian national, was booted out of Bali after he organised a mass yoga gathering — with, unsurprisingly, mostly foreigners — in Ubud during the height of the pandemic.

At the time of the offence public events were limited to 25 participants, but Wissam’s yoga gathering saw more than 60 people attend, who also did not socially distance or wear face masks. As a result of the total disregard for Indonesia’s COVID-19 restrictions, Wissam’s temporary stay permit was revoked and he was deported.

But you know what they say: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.