Singapore Tourism Board rebuffs Singapore's portrayal on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

Singapore Tourism Board rebuffs Singapore's portrayal on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has shot back against American crime TV series, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders' portrayal of Singapore with a brilliantly crafted Facebook post.

The series received brickbats from locals after an episode, titled Cinderella and the Dragon aired, portraying the island republic as a caricature of orientalist features.

The STB has sent its rebuttal with a Facebook post highlighting the various locales that the series got wrong with a tongue-in-cheek captions that directly references quotes in the episode itself.

There were other responses to this debacle such as one by popular local blogger, Mr Brown, who posted not one but two videos about it.

STB has been quick in posting responses to faux pas by foreign media, such as Buzzfeed London labeling ice cream sandwiches as disgusting.

However, this merely highlights the issue of western media trying to lump Asia as a single homogenous culture. This follows British TV show Cold Feet digitally altering footage shot in Singapore to make it more like 'Singapore' by altering signs in English to Mandarin, as reported by the Radio Times.

“They actually did shoot this in Singapore, but for some reason they shot it in 'Englishtown',” said Daniel Mark Millar of post production house Molinare.

"You know, we have a Chinatown in London, they have an Englishtown in Singapore. When we saw the rushes we thought they actually had filmed this in Manchester, but we only belatedly discovered they really did shoot it in Singapore.” he added.

There is no 'Englishtown' in Singapore, and underscores the need for western media to move away from constantly reinforcing the stereotype that Asian countries has to look different from the west.

Get the Newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest news and insights.


Benjamin Cher

Benjamin Cher is The Drum's APAC reporter, reporting on the interesting and quirky nuances of digital marketing and technology in the region. Based in Singapore, he has interviewed major brands such as Dell, Lenovo and IBM before, covering an extensive range of topics from cyber security to innovation. In his time at the drum, Benjamin has covered issues ranging from influencer marketing to data analytics to startups.

All by Benjamin