Social Media Users Doubt Authenticity of Lao Participant in Viral Video

Social Media Users Doubt Authenticity of Lao Participant in Viral Video
Participants on the World Friends Video. (Photo: WorldFriends)

Netpie? McDonut? Never heard these words before? You, like many others, might think that a woman posing as a Lao citizen in a video published by the Facebook page World Friends may not be Lao at all.

The video, which was published on July 17, went viral in Laos after social media users found the Lao participant’s strange pronunciation of certain words to be unrealistic, and exaggerated.

Published by World Friends, the video aimed to show how 20 different countries in Asia differently pronounced an array of random words namely, “Netflix, Popcorn, McDonald’s, Cupcake, Bicycle, and Sandwich.”

In the video, people from other Asian countries pronounced the names in a somewhat familiar manner, with slight mix-ups of “R’s” and “L’s.” However, the woman who seemed to be representing Laos pronounced the words in a comically different way. 

Yet, not everyone took it in jest. The video seemed to rub Lao netizens the wrong way, as they rallied to call her accent fake, with others even questioning if she was actually Lao.

The video raises the question of authenticity, as most of the people featured in the video are actually actors and actresses based in South Korea, as confirmed through their Instagram accounts. 

The term “netpie,” one of the mispronunciation from the video, has now become a meme in Laos, with social media users racing to find ways to include the funny-sounding word in their social media posts.

Jokingly, Mattie Do, a Laotian American film director who features her most recent work “The Long Walk” on Netflix posted to her Facebook page, “From now on, I’m going to tell Lao people to go watch my film on NetPies.”

The Laotian Times reached out to World Friends to clarify the allegations but did not receive a response.