Jack Neo & Actress Respond to Criticisms That They Fat-Shame a Character


Remember when netizens called Jack Neo out for naming a character played by a transgender actress Amanda Man?

Seems like the movie team should review the names before publicizing them, because now people are taking offence at the name Yuan Yuan Yuan, played by plus-sized actress Xixi Lim.

“Yuan Yuan Yuan” Is Fat-Shaming?

Releasing on 1 February, Ah Girls Go Army will explore a “possible near-future” where the local population has decreased so significantly that women will have to join the Army.

It is a spin-off of the wildly popular Ah Boys To Men films, and is also directed by Jack Neo.

Publicity posters featuring the recruits have been circulating around social media. However, one poster caught the netizens’ attention… and not in a positive way.

 This poster features Xixi Lim, playing the recruit Yuan Yuan Yuan. “Yuan” is the Chinese word for round, and people immediately made a connection between the name and the plus-size actress.

This poster garnered lots of attention, with many people, including the popular Instagram page Wake Up, Singapore, calling Jack Neo out for fat-shaming.


Xixi Lim and Jack Neo has since responded to such criticisms. And they think that it isn’t fat-shaming.

Watch The Movie Before Judging

At a press conference before the movie’s gala premiere, Neo told reporters that he wants people to go watch the movie and judge it fairly. He believed that Lim’s character will surpass their expectations.

This is starting to sound like a clever publicity stunt… 

Lim said that she didn’t think it was fat-shaming, and it could just be a character named Yuan Yuan Yuan. The name only became a sensitive issue when people see it as something that can attack her self-image.

She further said that she can’t stop people from talking about her physique, but she hopes that everyone will give her and her character a chance.

Lim added that her character isn’t a “typical fat person”, and that her character ultimately tries to convey that fat people can do all the things thin people can do. And they can even do it better.

She also thought her character’s name was cute because it’s a double name, just like her own name Xixi. Aww. 

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Many of the recruits’ names are puns, which leads to the question: is Yuan Yuan Yuan really unintentional in its fat-shaming? You can’t look at the names Chow Ai Lian and Peh Mani and tell me that these puns weren’t intentional…

If you want to know more about the movie before booking tickets, you can read more about it here.

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Featured Image: Facebook (MM2 Entertainment Singapore)

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