Actress Syatilla Melvin says blackface video meant to show eyeliner problem

Coconuts KL
·2-min read

Malaysian actress Syatilla Melvin posted an apology video today after drawing backlash for appearing in blackface for a video promoting her new foundation line.

The 30-year-old is the second Malaysian celebrity in less than a month to be criticized for overlooking racial sensitivities by painting her face for a social media video. Syatilla today claimed that she had not intended to offend anyone in her video, which she said was meant to illustrate the problems people have when using eyeliner.

“I had no intention to offend anyone,” Syatilla said in the apology, adding: “I made the video as an example to women who have problems wearing eyeliner.”

Syatilla yesterday uploaded a video of her covered in black makeup before cutting to a scene of herself in fairer skin with the caption: “Foundation WAJAH.” She had just launched the Foundation Wajah cosmetic product under her company Wajah Kekasih.

Among those who called the video out was online personality Nandini Balakrishnan, who voiced out in a separate video telling Syatilla that there were other ways to promote makeup.

“If you want to sell foundation, there are many ways to market it instead of using blackface,” Nandini said. “There are people who wear foundation for reasons other than becoming fairer, you know.”

Some people were not buying Syatilla’s apology linking eyeliner problems to a blackface video promoting foundation.

“Blackface = eyeliner ???????? whut” Instagram user tak0yakipliz said.

Another user Sunflowerosesx wrote: “Isn’t the video to promote foundation? Who wears eyeliner on their whole face? The apology doesn’t make sense.”

Last week, Syatilla posted a separate TikTok video of herself exaggerating her eyeliner woes. The video began with her lining her eyes thinly, before going thicker, and eventually spreading the makeup to her whole face.

In today’s apology, Syatilla also admitted that she had not taken racial sensitivities into account.

“But it was my fault because I didn’t take other people’s feelings and sensitivities into consideration. Please forgive me,” she said, before telling her haters that she has already forgiven them. She disabled the comment section for her apology video.

Just last month, Malaysian singer Choo Hao Ren was criticized for featuring an actress in brownface for his music video that was promoting a skin whitening product.

Screenshots from Syatilla Melvin’s ‘#eyelinerproblems’ video. Photo: Syatilla Melvin/TikTok
Screenshots from Syatilla Melvin’s ‘#eyelinerproblems’ video. Photo: Syatilla Melvin/TikTok

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This article, Actress Syatilla Melvin says blackface video meant to show eyeliner problem, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.