After 'rant' vs Pinoy helpers, Kuwaiti online star loses sponsors

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2018 05:00 PM | Updated as of Jul 24 2018 11:56 PM

MANILA - After her controverial comments about domestic workers, a Kuwaiti social media star has been dropped by some of her sponsors.

In a tweet last July 21, 2018, Chelsea Beautique stated that it has decided to remove the video sponsored by Sondos Al-Qattan on their channels.

"We believe that decent working conditions should be provided to everyone and such behavior does not represent our brand's core beliefs," the company stated.

In a report by Gulf News, it identified two more international brands that cut ties with Al-Qattan.

Brands Max Factor Arabia and M. Micallef ended their relationship with the make-up artist.

A spokesperson of the Max Factor Arabia told Gulf News that it "immediately suspended all collaborations with Sondos."

M. Micallef also told Gulf News in an email that they "deeply regret the relationship with her, which we are terminating with immediate effect."

Al-Qattan made international headlines when she slammed the new law allowing Filipino domestic workers to keep their passports and have rest days.

 

"How can you have a 'servant' in your house who gets to keep their passport with them?" Sondos Al-Qattan said in an Arabic video uploaded and translated by TRT World, an English-language news channel based in Istanbul, Turkey.

"And what's worse is they have one day off every week," Al-Qattan said.

"If they ran away and went back to their country, who'll refund me? Honestly, I disagree with this law. I don't want a Filipino maid anymore," she said.

But Al-Qattan, who has over 2.1 million followers on her Instagram account, remains unapologetic.

In an interview with Agence France-Presse, she said the outcry was "unjustified" and did not require an apology.

"All I said was that the employer was entitled to keep the servant's passport, and that many Kuwaitis and Gulf nationals agree with me," she said in the report.

"I have the right as a kafil (sponsor) to keep my employee's passport, and I am responsible for paying a deposit of up to 1,500 dinars (around $4,900)," she added.

The Kuwaiti government recently allowed OFWs to be exempted from several provisions of the "Kafala system" after a diplomatic row with the Philippines in the first half of 2018.

The Kafala system is an Arabic sponsorship system that allows employers to exert "ownership" over their workers. This gives employers the right to decide the terms of employment and when to terminate the contract regardless of the wishes of the employee.

The law that protects OFWs in Kuwait was signed in May after President Rodrigo Duterte temporarily banned Filipinos from flying to the Gulf state where many Filipinos suffered abuse from employers. With report from Agence France-Presse