Love Amplified – Hady Mirza’s HIV “Joke”

There are two things you must worry about.
Either you’re a man or a woman.
If you’re a woman, you’re safe.
If you’re a man, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you’re serving NS or not serving NS.
If you’re not serving NS, you’re safe.
If you’re serving NS, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you’re on a combat or non-combat vocation.
If you’re on a non-combat vocation, you’re safe.
If you’re on a combat vocation, there are two things you must worry about.
Either there’s a war or no war.
If there’s no war, you’re safe.
If there’s a war, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you die or never die.
If you never die, you’re safe.
If you die, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you’re buried or cremated.
If you’re cremated, you’re safe.
If you’re buried, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you become fertiliser or you don’t.
If you don’t, you’re safe.
If you become fertiliser, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you’re used to grown a plant or a tree.
If you’re used to grown a plant, you’re safe.
If you’re used to grown a tree, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you’re recycled into tissue paper or into writing paper.
If you’re recycled into writing paper, you’re safe.
If you’re recycled into tissue paper, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you’re used by a man or woman.
If you’re used by a man, you’re safe.
If you’re used by a woman, there are two things you must worry about.
Either she use you in front or behind.
If you’re used behind, you’re safe.
If you’re used in front, there are two things you must worry about.
Either you get Gonorrhea or AIDS.
If you get Gonorrhea, you’re safe.
If you get AIDS, you die lah!

Courtesy of the oh-so-clever Hady Mirza, Singapore Idol & Asian Idol, at the Love Amplified, World AIDS Day Concert.

At least that’s the main geist, if you were there and heard the “joke” yourself, feel free to correct me in the comments if I made any mistakes.

If anyone of you find it funny or tickling in any way, leave a comment too. I would be curious to find out where you got your education and I’ll be sure to avoid sending my children there in the future.

Plus, there’s a story of the whole incident on the TNP (they mentioned me!).

Full article and video recording of the whole incident after the jump.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnGNuRQPl8Y&hl=en&fs=1]

HADY LEARNS THE HARD WAY
Singer says sorry after gaffe at Aids concert
By Benson Ang and Germaine Lim

December 05, 2008

IT was a wisecrack that fell flat.

Asian Idol Hady Mirza has found himself the target of criticism after a performance on Saturday night.

The 28-year-old singer was on stage at the Love Amplified concert at Fort Canning Park and had told the crowd what he termed ‘an intelligent joke’.

But the gag did not go down well with some concert goers.

Hady had shared the joke, titled Two Things, before his third song of the night.

It was a five-minute long gag that ended up implying that if you contract HIV or Aids, ‘you will die, lah’.

To make matters worse, the concert was Singapore’s first World Aids Day concert, organised by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to raise awareness of HIV/Aids.

It was also to commemorate World Aids Day, which was on 1 Dec.

Some have complained that the joke was ‘distasteful’ and some Singaporeans blogged about it online.

When The New Paper contacted Hady, he expressed regret and was very apologetic.

He said: ‘I wanted to lighten the mood. I thought a light-hearted joke could loosen up everyone.

‘It was my mistake. I definitely didn’t mean to offend anyone. It was purely unintentional.

‘In hindsight, it was the wrong occasion to tell such a joke.’

Hady, the Singapore Idol Season 2 winner in 2006, also said he did not think up the joke.

He said a friend had e-mailed him a video of the joke being told by an African amateur stand-up comedian.

Ironically, the joke was told at an Aids benefit concert, but Hady cannot remember where and when it took place.

Hady admitted that once he delivered the punchline, he immediately knew something was wrong as the audience seemed surprised.

But he maintained his cool and went on to sing U2’s Beautiful Day.

His other songs were Malay number Merpati and George Michael’s Freedom 90 from his 2006 album.

Hady said it was only when he headed backstage after his performance that he realised what he had done.

An HPB official approached him and expressed concern over how the joke might have treated the subject of Aids too casually.

Similarly, radio deejay Jean Danker, who was the host of the event, also approached him.

Hady said: ‘Jean came over and asked if everything was fine and if I was feeling okay.

‘I felt very bad when I realised what I had done and immediately apologised to the HPB official. I’ve also written HPB a formal letter of apology.’

He added: ‘I would never want to downplay the efforts of the other performers. I hope my joke has not undermined the message of the concert and World Aids Day, and the organiser’s aim.’

Hady said that when he went back on stage for the finale, he immediately apologised to the crowd.

‘I also emphasised we should not discriminate those who are HIV-infected,’ he added.

Artistes who also participated in the concert included singer Stefanie Sun, local band Electrico and actor Hossan Leong.

According to HPB, 3,600 people attended the concert.

‘Unfortunate incident’

When contacted, HPB’s deputy director of corporate communications, Ms Patricia Woo, said: ‘Yes, we are aware of this incident but there has not been any feedback from the public.

‘This unplanned incident is unfortunate.’

The executive director of voluntary organisation Action for Aids (AFA) , Mr Lionel Lee, who was at the concert, told The New Paper: ‘I believe Hady was trying to engage the audience out of goodwill. And he might have been nervous.

‘But if he’s going to attend a concert for a specific cause, maybe he should have read up more about the cause and things relating to it.

‘Through the concert, we hope to spread the message of love and normalisation of people living with HIV.’

He added: ‘The joke also doesn’t really make sense, because just because a person has HIV does not mean this person will die from it.

‘But, on the whole, the messages presented during the concert were very good. Hady’s joke was not a major issue. It’s just that it might present him in a bit of a bad light.

‘We hope he can be a good role model for youth.’

Mr Lee added that AFA has not received any formal complaints about the incident.

Concert-goers The New Paper spoke to said they were surprised at Hady’s words.

Ms Leona Lo, a 33-year-old public relations consultant, said: ‘The joke was quite distasteful and inappropriate.

‘But Hady obviously isn’t a professional comedian, and he was trying his best, so I forgive him. The joke just fell flat.’

The blogosphere, however, was less sympathetic.

On Mr Lim Is The Best blog, a blogger identified only as Mr Lim wrote: ‘How can (Hady be allowed) to make such a (distasteful) joke and get away with saying an obviously insincere ‘sorry’?’

Digital strategist Pat Law also wrote on her blog, Blank Canvas: ‘The only part that was remotely funny was when (Hady) claimed it was an ‘intelligent’ joke.

‘I bet the organisers were freaking out.’

Mr Law’s friend, Tania, was less harsh.

Her response to Ms Law’s post read: ‘Not HPB’s fault. Just a silly boy without a clue.’

Far from being controversial, Hady is known to be happy-go-lucky.

It is the chirpy crooner’s smooth vocals that have won him many fans.

He is also known to imitate others but always in jest.

But this time, even Hady had to admit his winning personality traits were his undoing.

He said: ‘I guess I was too easy-going when I shouldn’t have been. I pushed the boundaries too far.’

2008-12-06

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