Pamungkas defends rubbing fan’s phone on his crotch as onstage “fan service”

Written by on 11/10/2022

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Indonesian singer-songwriter Pamungkas has defended a recent stage stunt where he rubbed a fan’s phone on his crotch as “fan service”.

Pamungkas was performing at the Bengkel Night Park Cafe in Jakarta on October 6 when he rubbed a fan’s phone on his crotch in a moment that gained attention on TikTok and was later circulated on other social media platforms. Following outcry over the stunt, Pamungkas posted a series of Instagram Stories on October 8 explaining and defending the act.

“At the time it was happening, it was purely a fan service between me and my fans. A part of the performance, I would say,” he said in the now-expired posts, per a Jakarta Post report. Pamungkas claimed that viral video was screen-recorded and edited in such a way to ignite controversy, adding that he saw the act as something for his fans that he “would never say no to,” like taking pictures with them.

“[That act] is the same, it’s called fan service. It was a form of conversation between me and my fans and at the time it happened, it was a happy experience between us, OK?”

Pamungkas also claimed that other performers on the same stage “demonstrated an act of sexual activity and then sprayed it on the audience, some even raised glasses of alcohol.” Another performer brought female fans on stage and hugged them for one particular song, he claimed. “Where were all your voices when that happened?” he asked.

Pamungkas reportedly said that if anything was subject to ‘harassment’ in the incident, it was the phone in question. “Unless I do [the act] in the parking lot, or backstage, I’m fine with it, I’ll take [the criticism].”

The Indonesian singer-songwriter also claimed in his statement that he had originally planned to stay silent on the matter but decided to speak out after his manager was apparently rushed to a hospital for shortness of breath over the stress of the situation.

Pamungkas followed up his series of Instagram Stories with a picture of a miniature cellphone on his account and a tongue-in-cheek caption: “akhirnye telah lahir”, or “finally born”.

This is not the Indonesian musician’s first brush with controversy this year. Pamungkas faced accusations of plagiarism in February over the title track from his third album ‘Birdy’. The singer would later upload a version of the track with revised lyrics following accusations that he had plagiarised the Charles Bukowski poem ‘The Bluebird’ without credit.

The post Pamungkas defends rubbing fan’s phone on his crotch as onstage “fan service” appeared first on NME.

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