Tila “Teacher” Tequila (Nguyen), on Burma human rights abuses

The Human Rights Action Center, as part of its campaign for Burma/Myanmar, recently unveiled a web commercial directed by Timothy Linh Bui and starring the hot-hot-hot Tila Tequila (pictured, screencap from the video). And if you don’t know this already: Tila is Vietnamese.

The Bolsavik previously published Timothy’s casting call here. Don’t say Bolsavik never helps you with women problems.

The series of web commercials was the brainchild of Jack Healy, former executive director of Amnesty International. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the massive and deadly human rights abuses currently happening in Myanmar.

“Myanmar” is the official name of the former Burma, that country where the River Kwai of the bridge fame is located. Because Myanmar is the name given by the right-wing military dictatorship, however, all human rights groups (and the U.S. government) stick to “Burma.”

Want to know more about human rights abuses in Myanmar/Burma? Tila will teach you. Watch the commercial at the end of this posting.

Timothy Linh Bui is best known as the director of Green Dragon, starring Forrest Whitaker and Patrick Swayze, telling the painful story of the birth of the Vietnamese-American community after the Vietnam War ended. He’s also the producer of Three Seasons, the critically acclaimed and multiple-award winning film directed by his brother Tony Bui, starring Harvey Keitel and Zoe Bui.

Born Tila Nguyen, Tequila is probably the most famous Vietnamese TV star in the world. She’s currently hosting the reality dating competition show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila on MTV, now in its second season. In Shot at Love II, a group of men and women compete for a chance to be Tila’s lover. The first season ended with Tila hooking up with one Bobby Banhart; a few months later, they broke up.

This year, the second season started with 15 straight males and 15 lesbian females. Unlike the first season, in this season the competitors already knew about Tila’s bisexuality as disclosed after the first episode, first season. The first season ended as MTV’s most watched series telecast ever.

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15 Responses to Tila “Teacher” Tequila (Nguyen), on Burma human rights abuses

  1. Vicki says:

    You’re kidding right? Burma is a serious issue; do you honestly believe putting a sexual spin on Burma, or any humam rights issues, will bring “awareness” to our younger generation? I agree 100% that youths should make an effort into understanding what’s going on in the world today. But to add sex into the mix….that’s not creating awareness into the an increasingly dire situation, that’s perversion. Truly, what’s the goal here because perhaps I’m missing the point.

  2. Free Burma says:

    Very well said, Vicky.

  3. She’s hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Ignorant Student says:

    I now know more about Burma. Thank you Ms. Tequila.

  5. Publius says:

    I agree with Vicky.

    As a Vietnamese American, I think it is degrading that an outreach program designed to promote public awareness on a serious issue like human rights in Burma (or Tibet, China, Vietnam, etc.) was based on such a perverted sexual plot. What were Director Linh Bui and the Human Rights Action Center thinking? Perhaps, they hoped to expand the human rights community to these unlikely audience base – the MySpace fans of Tequila – but assuming that these individuals would care enough to sign on the email list – and that remains a big assumption – what could they do to contribute to the cause? Would anyone sign an online petition or make a donation to Burma human rights campaign? Highly unlikely. Probably 1 in a 100,000.

    But again, looking at the level of discussion here, mostly dominated by the infantile, meaningless ranting of the two infamous Kims (and some of their friends), one must conclude that Director Bui probably was just practical in his approach. He simply dealt with the target audience through the only channel that can guarantee some of their attention. SEX.

    Or more accurately, the promise of it.

  6. LittleSaigonese says:

    Sex sells , no doubt about it , perhaps the approach is controversial but who can say with certainty that it is not going to be effective . We are innundated with the commercials on TV , freeway billboards and most are with the pictures or film clip s of good looking models . Briggitte Bardot was a sex symbol of the past but she was somewhat successful in raising the awareness to the animal cruelty, Marilyn Monroe is long dead but she still has many fans to name a few and there was Italian porn star Milly D’ Abbracio ran for public office and Cicciolina was a porn star that served in the Italian parliament.
    After all ,Ms Tila is only a mesenger , Little Saigonese just has to wait before dismiss her message as ineffective, Mr Bang Ki Moon and others have said much about the abusive regime of Burma, let’s see if Tila can do better with her huge fan base

  7. Bolsavik says:

    All I have to say is:

    Sex sells soaps, so shouldn’t sex sell serious stuff, like … human rights?

    (And try saying that 10 times really fast.)

  8. Jung Kim says:

    Poor propaganda……… Political action/movement has to come from one’s stirred heart with geniune passion and committed devotions ……….not from a one cheap informative commercial pasted with low class sexual iilusions.

  9. Lun Ghe says:

    she is hot, famous and successful. and i bet kids look up to her . heheh, and may be listen to her.

    and listen , people. listen up

    sex is human right too , people . For sure .

    as Vietnamese, should us be proud of her ?

  10. Lun Ghe says:

    i mean STUPID kids would look up to her and if we are lucky enough, they will learn something about human abuse in …where ever .

  11. VietPundit says:

    I’m a little conflicted about this. At first, I saw nothing wrong with this, and I was gonna to make some wise cracks about how hot she was, then I read the comments by Vicki and Publius, and they make sense to me. Believe me, I’m no prude, and see nothing wrong with “Sex Sells”. However, I got to thinking: what if during the Vietnamese Boat People crisis, there was a video made to bring attention to it, similar to this, then how would I feel? I would feel quite disturbed, actually. It just wouldn’t feel right, would it? I guess on some quite emotional issues, a certain dignified approach is required, then?

  12. the "Hit Man" says:

    “SEX SELLS” works with any commercial product, but not with the human rights or liberty, for these (not a product at all) are the cause people fight for and die for . Hey, as Vietnamese don’t we know so well about this during the Vietnam war and so won’t be fooled.

    The “Tila Tequila” commercial clip is an example that shows how the Vietnamese is particularly good at: Imitation. In this case the “liberal Timothy Linh Bui” and his team obviously picked up the idea from some commercial ad and misused (and of course they thought it was so cool, hehehe…). That’s why there were a lot of Vietnamese kids who excelled in high schools, but not many in universities. Because at high learning institutes, book worm (imitation) doesn’t work, but invention and imagination.

  13. Publius says:


    Interesting analogy! Ok, soaps are for sale. Are human rights for sale too?

    You and other posters brought up the rationale that Tila is only the messenger.

    In my opinion, your choice of messenger reflects well on how important the topic is to you. A very serious, meaningful topic can just be ruined instantly by the wrong choice of messenger. Why don’t the State Department just pick a porn star to be our diplomats to present a more pleasant picture of America? Hey, isn’t it the message “America is beautiful” that you want to tell the world?

    To those who don’t care about the particular topic, they remain careless. What they are interested in seeing is a hot “substitute teacher” stripping off her clothes. Burma and her suffering people are the last things on their mind.

    Is this the liberal Viet “Hollywood-wannabe” version of human rights advocacy? Thanks to “artistic products” like this, the stupidification of our hip-hop generation just took a step further.

    It seems your Viet pride is misplaced. Not that Tila isn’t hot.

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