After suffering a lot of abuse from men, life-sized cutouts of a female model hired to promote Shell products in Malaysia have now been pulled out from the energy firm’s gasoline stations in the Muslim-majority country
Images of men kissing, groping and molesting the figure of the headscarf-wearing Malaysian woman have recently gone viral in local social media, prompting the company to remove the cutouts, calling out the men for their “distasteful and suggestive acts,” reports Agence France-Presse (via SCMP).
“We do not condone this disrespectful act, which is completely against the culture of Malaysians and Shell’s core values. We urge netizens and members of the public to refrain from sharing these images further,” Shell said in a statement, as quoted by AFP.
“The standee (cutout) will be removed from all our sites with immediate effect,” Shell added.
Stationed in Shell’s various petrol outlets across the country, the cut-outs featured the smiling image of 25-year-old Shell station employee Nor Shafila Khairusalleh, who is modestly clothed in a red T-shirt with a Shell logo, black trousers, and a black headscarf.
While her outfit can hardly be considered provocative, it did not stop men from demonstrating obscene acts on the cutout. Many took photos of themselves kissing the standee, grabbing her crotch, chest and doing random sexual poses.
Shell, which has more than 950 stations across Malaysia, did not specify how many cutouts will be removed from the country’s petrol stations.
Khairusalleh herself, the model in the cutout, also called out the men for their “extreme behavior.”
“They may just be joking, but I feel humiliated because that is still myself although it is just an image,” Khairusalleh was quoted as saying. The employee added that she’s not planning to take legal action.