STD app named Hula stirs protests and controversyUPDATED 11:04 PM HST Mar 26, 2014Video Transcript
what it does...but for it's name. Good evening, I'm Kenny Choi. And I'm Yunji de Nies...the app is called Hula...but it has anything to do with traditional hawaiian dance. KITV4's Brenton Awa explains in tonights top story. Hula -- sequence if can Hula is more than just a dance... It's a cultural art... an expression... and now... Iphone unzipping shot an STD Alert App -- that once aimed to help it's users get lei'd. back to hula But a group of local residents are taking this personally -- saying the apps name has goes way beyond cultural insensitivity. 4105 - KAIO "IT PHYSICALLY PAINS US WHEN WE HEAR SOMETHING LIKE AN STD BEING CORRELATED TO HULA WHICH IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR CULTURE." 5414 - ALIKA "I THINK IT GIVES PEOPLE A FALSE REPRESENTATI ON OF WHAT HULA REALLY IS." On change.org -- a petition has surpassed 11-hundred supporters. They stress the only problem is the apps name... In fact -- they say the apps actually a good thing. A step towards sexually transmitted disease awareness and protection. It allows users to get and share their STD results. 4426 - KAIO "WE DON'T WANT THE APP TO BE CRIMINALIZED IN ANY WAY, WE WANT IT TO CONTINUE TO GATHER SUPPORT FOR ITS PURPOSE UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME." Hula's founder did not return our message but did respond to the petition -- saying... "IN NO WAY DID WE INTEND TO OFFEND ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE HAWAIIAN COMMUNITY AND FOR DOING SO WE DEEPLY APOLOGIZE." The statement goes on to say that Hula has already taken steps to gain a better understanding of the Hawaiian culture but will not change its name. In the meantime -- residents say they'll continue to fight. 5735 "THIS IS ATTACKING SOMETHING THAT IS A BIGGER ISSUE, IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT AN APP, IT IS ABOUT PEOPLE NOT RESPECTING ASPECTS OF OUR CULTURE AND VERY TRADITIONAL PRACTICES AND EXPLOITING THEM AND EXPLOITING THEM TO GAIN MONEY, TO GAIN PROFITS, TO GAIN WHATEVER THAT IS." The Hawaii residents that founded that petition are also starting a website to further explain what Hula really is. They say the petition is not so much about counting numbers -- instead it's a place where Hawaiians and Hawaiian's at heart can go to take a stand against the mis-use of the culture.