TV show apologises for cruel 'prank' on girl, 13, who thought she was about to meet her long-lost mother
A Cambodian TV show has been forced to issue a public apology after a cruel "prank" where they tricked a 13-year-old girl into thinking she was about to meet her mother for the first time in seven years - but instead presented her with a comedian in drag.
Autumn Allen, a young singer-songwriter, was invited to appear on the Penh Chet Ort ('Like it or Not') programme for a Mother's Day special.
During the show, the hosts tell her she is to be reunited with her mother. She last saw her when she was six years old and left the United States with her father.
Amber started to cry, and told the audience it would be a "dream come true" for her - but when the 'mother' is finally revealed, it turned out to be local comedian Chuop Rolin, known for cross-dressing in his acts.
Watch a clip from the programme:
The YouTube clip can be viewed in full here.
A video of the MyTV segment, posted to YouTube by Khmer TV Record 72, shows the hosts laughing before asking Autumn whether she had believed them - to which she replies that she wasn't sure.
At one point, Rolin even demands that she kiss her 'mother' on the cheek - which she refuses to do.
After the show, Autumn took to Facebook to thank people for their support.
She also posted an image of the letter of apology she received from the show's producers.
There has been an outpouring of anger following the broadcast, both from people shocked that the show has exploited the emotions of a young girl, and from gay rights campaigners protesting the show's apparently frequent use of lesbian, gay and transgender guests as the butt of its jokes
Local political campaigner Virak OU labelled the show "stupid, brainless and heartless".