Izara Aishah: Why are TV stations casting social media influencers as actors?

Heidi Hsia
·1-min read

18 Mar – Amid the many criticisms regarding Malaysian social media influencers making their transition into actors, Izara Aishah recently expressed her astonishment over the trend.

On 17 March, the actress took to Twitter to raise the subject, posting, "A lot of Instagram famous are now becoming actors. TV has no budget because of COVID, is it?"

Netizens who saw the post immediately joined in on the conversation, with some saying that productions could have cast those social media influencers since professional actors are more expensive. Another stated that with influencers having more followers, it meant that the drama they starred in would get more viewers and higher ratings and in turn would profit the TV stations.

Izara later tweeted, "Some of them are not even interested to act. [In] My time, we had to go for auditions. Our passion is to really become an actor. We studied performing arts to get into the industry. The effort we put in is nothing like how it is now."

Izara's concern was not new in the industry. Last year, "Polis Evo" actor Amerul Affendi revealed that he was told he would not get an offer to do television unless he could get 500,000 followers on Instagram.

"I only have 100,000 followers. That means it would take some time for television stations to offer me a role, since they said they would only consider it if you can reach 500,000. If I buy my followers, than that's akin to cheating. What should I do?" he added.

Amerul Affendi couldn't get offers because of his small number of social media followers
Amerul Affendi couldn't get offers because of his small number of social media followers

(Photo Source: Izara Aishah Instagram, Suara Merdeka)