Talk Show Pranks 13-Year-Old Girl, Sparks International Outrage

A Cambodian talk show has sparked international ire over a prank producers and hosts played on a recent episode. Penh Chet Ort (Like It or Not) is a talk and variety show that invited 13-year-old Autumn Allen to perform on its Mother's Day episode. According to The Phnom Penh Post, producers told Allen that her "dream to meet her mother would come true." The aspiring singer hasn't seen her mother for over a decade.  Allen was prepped and primed for a reunion with her mother. The hosts asked about the last time they had been together, and Allen wiped away tears while she talked about the parent who stayed in the U.S. when she and her father moved to Cambodia. When the time came for the big reveal, though, it wasn't Allen's mother who walked out.  "But, after a drawn-out build-up, it was cross-dressing comedian and Penh Chet Ort judge Chuop Rolin that emerged from backstage instead of the young singer’s mother," The Phnom Penh Post says.  Viewers were quick to react on social media. They called the way MyTV, the network that airs Penh Chet Ort, manipulated Allen shameful and brainless. Political analyst Ou Virak wrote on Facebook, "They lied to this girl that her mother she hasn't met for a very long time will be reunited on live TV, only to be presented with a cross-dressing comedian. The joke of the cross dressing is also a sickening joke of people of LGBT and it is just all too common on Cambodian TVs."  Shortly after the show aired, Autumn Allen posted a statement about what had happened on her Facebook page, "Thank you for the enormous show of support regarding the Mother’s Day show. I am sure there was no harm intended and I had fun on the show," she wrote.  After news of the show's stunt started to travel, the network sent Allen a apology letter, which she also shared on Facebook. A few hours ago, Allen shared another update. "Thank you for the continuing overwhelming supports. MyTV will be making a public apology soon."  We also have no doubt the citizens of the Internet are currently hard at work trying to track down Allen's real mother. We'll update this story as more news becomes available. (The Phnom Penh Post)

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