Viral Photo of Malaysian Family Eating While Maid Watches is Not What It Looks Like, Daughter Says

domestic worker

A viral tweet that was posted and quickly deleted showed a picture of a family eating at a restaurant as their domestic worker sat and watched, outraging many who saw it.

In the picture, a family of three can be seen eating their meal at an undisclosed restaurant while their domestic helper watches them. The caption for the post reads: “I absolutely HATE people who do this. You bring your helper out to a restaurant and you don’t give her food.”

via Twitter / v_vivekkk

“She sits there watching you eat. Where is your heart? Just because she’s a maid, she can’t eat at the same table? I hope yall get food poisoning.”

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In that same deleted-thread, the user, @v_vivekkk, recounts the story he had during his childhood.

via Twitter / v_vivekkk

The tweet eventually made its way to the family after it went viral. Lin, the daughter of the family featured in the photo, immediately contacted her friend and told her the whole story behind that viral post.

According to her friend Meera Samanther, Lin and the domestic worker, who is referred to as Melissa (not her real name), were out doing errands before meeting Lin’s parents. After that, they decided to eat at a restaurant as her parents had not eaten yet.

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via Twitter / ponnumbalam

“Both Lin and Melissa had already eaten. Melissa did not want to eat again (yes, she was asked), while Lin ate some of the food her parents had ordered,” she said in the picture in the post.

via Twitter / ponnumbalam

“I understand people want to highlight injustices in the world, but this is NOT such a case,” Samanther continued in her post. “I would like to think that the tweeter (Vivek) had good intention. But honestly, couldn’t he have just asked? The tweet has now been shared over 12k times. Numerous people have commented with hate and even racism.”

In her message, Samanther called out Vivek to remove his post and to offer a public apology for what he did.

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via Twitter / ponnumbalam

Fortunately, Vivek complied by the request of the Samanther. He later replied in the thread with a screenshot of his public apology.

“I had no ulterior motive, personal agenda nor benefit to gain from doing this. It was solely to call out these types of actions and raise awareness that domestic helpers continue to be ill treated,” he wrote.

“Here, I would like to restate that I’m extremely sorry to the family for intruding on their privacy. I further apologize if my tweet has caused them distress.”

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“I would like to emphasize once more that the issue here was not to target a specific individual or race or religion, but to call out a behavior I thought was wrong and which has for so long caused numerous issues to domestic helpers,” he said before closing up his apology letter.

Feature Images via Twitter / v_vivekkkv (left) and ponnumbalam (right)

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