Social media users have harshly criticised US soldiers after a video appeared on TikTok showing the servicemen quizzing Syrian citizens about former porn actress Mia Khalifa. The footage shows Syrian men apparently not understanding the question, after which US soldiers try to explain them who they are talking about. "Should've studied more Arabic" reads an on-screen caption after one of the Syrian men starts speaking.
A TikTok video shows U.S. soldiers deployed to Syria asking locals if they've recently seen their favorite porn star around 😬 https://t.co/skooW15oF1 pic.twitter.com/5DM8ijucaK— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) September 3, 2020
In the comments section under the video, deleted after publication, serviceman Richard Wolfgang described the men as "truly amazing people" and wrote that he was "fortunate" to meet them.
This, however, did not stop the barrage of comments most of which were negative. Many netizens found their behaviour disrespectful and noted that Mia Khalifa is from Lebanon, not Syria.
Yeah, treat the locals like they’re idiots because they’re not porn-literate. Hearts and minds like you read about. Good job, Army.— Ward Carroll (@wardcarroll) September 3, 2020
Mia Khalifa is Lebanese not Syrian 😬— ☪️ 🇿🇦Aspiring Antifa Bookkeeper (@politikalywrong) September 4, 2020
Soldier Richard Wolfgang then posted a statement saying he and his colleagues were simply joking.
This was not the case at all. For I'm the one recorded the video. We were just being young men joking and having a good conversation in topics we could all relate to. This "blog" is twisting the video into something it wasn’t.— Richard Wolfgang (@Richard54123126) September 4, 2020
…but it seems his explanation angered netizens more…
mia khalifa is lebanese-am and even if she was syrian i fail to find this amusing in the slightest considering the past/current long history of sexual violence committed by us military against women in the countries they're stationed in that there is rarely if any recourse for. https://t.co/GlbtU0kAMU— dj franzia (@hawillisdc) September 3, 2020
Please, by all means, explain the logic behind thinking that war-traumatized devout Muslim Syrian civilians, desperate for food, shelter and medical care, could somehow "all relate to" a porn actress from a totally different country.— Phil (@Phil61044386) September 4, 2020
Some netizens wrote they were not surprised by the behaviour of US soldiers.
Cant be suprised. They Cant parent in america. In american homes the children run them. And this is the results. #goodOlSpankin— JesseH626 (@jesse420bp) September 3, 2020
"boys will be boys" except it's ur tax dollars!!!— 2017 jokerfied vibe (@chomsky_fan420) September 4, 2020
Still others found there was nothing bad or disrespectful in the actions of the US servicemen.
Sorry bro no one has a sense of humor these days— Renequi (@VVladdington) September 4, 2020
Disgusting that the liberal media would try to twist this into anything other than what it is: young men trying to find common ground between themselves and the native inhabitants.— big strong guy, he’s a big strong guy (@iririririrkrjfk) September 3, 2020
This is a perfect example of searching for shared experiences. Cancel culture has gone too far.
Mia Khalifa is a Lebanese-American media personality, best known for her short career in the porn industry. She became the most viewed performer, according to Pornhub and retained this title even after she quit the industry. She caused outrage in the Muslim world after she appeared in several porn videos in a hijab, a Muslim veil. After the publication of the videos she received death threats from people online and also from the Daesh terrorist group.
Now the 27-year-old is fighting against adult film companies as she feels they exploit young girls. Most recently she has been engaged in charity work trying to raise money to help the victims of the devastating explosion in Lebanon’s capital Beirut.