From Boycotts to Cyberbullying and Murder: Scandals of Thailand’s BL Industry | campus.sg

Thailand’s Boy’s Love (BL) industry is certainly looking to compete with Korean dramas, with several BL drama releases coming out each week. While the target audience is pretty niche – these stories feature male x male romance stories, but are produced by women for a female audience – the genre has picked up steam during the pandemic lockdown years.

However, with the profusion of dramas being released – and the large number of actors coming onto the BL scene – it’s not unusual to find scandals related to this industry. Whether it’s actions involving crazy fans, the BL actors or production houses, here are some bizarre moments that have led to some actors to be cancelled, boycotted, or even arrested.

Toy admits to stabbing and killing his girlfriend

Thai actor Toy Thanapat (WhyRU) admitted to killing his girlfriend, 25-year-old Chatsaran Suwannakit, by stabbing her over 20 times with a kitchen knife in a blind rage in August, 2021. The act took place at a townhouse in Bangkok where the 21-year old actor was arrested. Her body was found in a bedroom on the second floor. Toy initially told the police that she brought a knife to the bedroom to hurt herself, and that he tried to stop her, but the struggle resulted in her death.

Bright faced China’s wrath (a few times)

Bright Vachirawit (2Gether, F4 Thailand) received mass hatred from China more than once in 2020! The first time was rather innocuous – he retweeted a photographic post that described Hong Kong as a country, which angered Chinese netizens (they forgave him after his apology though).

However, their wrath couldn’t be contained when his girlfriend, Weeraya, supported the idea that the coronavirus originated in China and that she considered Taiwan a country (although her Instagram post didn’t specifically say that). As a response, Chinese netizens not only stopped ‘stanning’ Bright, they also boycotted the BL series 2gether, in which he co-stars.

They even interacted with Thai fans to voice their distaste, which was met with plenty of hilarious responses from Thai netizens with the hashtag #nnevvy. It then ballooned into a global movement: the infamous Milk Tea Alliance of Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, which was seen as uniting like-minded activists against authoritarianism.

The mess that was Motive Village and the 2Moons series

The series 2Moons (2017) was a big hit for production company Motive Village (MV), starring God Itthipat, Bas Suradej, Copter Panuwat, Kimmon Warodom, Tae Darvid, and Tee Thanapon. However, hot on the heels of its success was a host of scandals. 2Moons was supposed to be a 3-season series with the same cast, but MV claimed some copyright violation with the entire cast and had issues with God (who left on his own). They then cast all-new actors without prior knowledge of the previous cast, who were undoubtedly miffed. However, the cast members – or SB5 (minus God) – managed to move onto greener pastures in terms of acting and singing roles with another entertainment agency.

Then comes 2Moons2, with newly-cast actors Benjamin Brasier, Earth Teerapat, Joong Archen, Nine Kornchid, Pavel Poom, and Dome Woranart, which went onto great success. All (except Dome) were bound by contract to MV for the remaining 2 seasons. MV tried to make a boy band (called OXQ) comprising all the actors except Earth, whom the company deemed unsuitable (it caused a lot of commotion among fans).

MV then collaborated with Chinese entertainment company NSMG to participate in an idol survival contest in China; only Joong and Nine were selected and heavily promoted, leaving the rest of the cast members in limbo. They were still under contract, but had no jobs to do – this led Ben to do a Twitch Live to voice their situation. By this point Ben, Pavel, and Earth were looking at ways to end their contract – at the end, all cast members (including Joong and Nine) were free of their contracts as of 2021. Nobody really knows what happened to MV, but they did do a casting call for 2Moons3.

The “I’m not gay” guys

While still with MV, Joong explained to Turkish friends – he was raised in Turkey – on his public Instagram page that he wasn’t gay because he was on the BL series, 2Moons2, in 2018. He ended up using: “I’m a man in real life, not gay.” Joong’s action prompted Motive Village to issue an apology and gave Joong a probation.

Another BL actor by the name of Frank Thanatsaran (Our Skyy) also tweeted “…and I’m man not gay, thank you” in an unrelated post in 2021.

Krist Perawat (SOTUS, Our Skyy) was another actor who vehemently objected to the notion that he is gay. On one of his Instagram Live sessions, a fan asked “are you gay?” and he replied with “Absolutely NO 😡😡!!”

Their comments have left some BL fans disappointed.

Krist and Singto joke about rape on a live feed

Krist Perawat and Singto Prachaya (SOTUS, Paint With Love) were testing a number of filters during their live feed, until Singto found one that blurred his face, and commented that he looked like a rape victim in an interview and that Krist was the one who raped him.

Mew Suppasit in the news for all the wrong reasons

Mew Suppasit (What The Duck, TharnType) and Art Pakpoom (What The Duck) co-starred as lovers in What The Duck in 2018, and during the promotion of the series, the pair spent a night at Mew’s apartment. After that, Art publicly (and tearfully) revealed in a live stream that Mew kissed him and that he wasn’t comfortable with it.

While Art considered Mew as a ‘brother’, the former also alleged that Mew tried to distance him from his own close friends by telling them to “stay away from Art.” All of this clouded the MewArt fandom, with fans split in opinions – some accused Art of seeking attention, while others accused Mew of sexual harassment.

Two years later, Mew was cast as the lead with rookie Gulf Kanawut in a new series, TharnType in 2019 while Art basically disappeared from the limelight. The controversy seemed to be swept under the rug without much clarification from either actor, but it came out in the open again in 2021 prior to the release of TharnType 2, when fans revisited the #MewSexualHarrassment hashtag. However, Mew continued gaining fans (he currently has over 3 million fans on Instagram, compared to Art’s 200,000+) and even has a music career.

Just when Mew thought the online drama was done, he became a victim of cyberbullying himself a few months later. This time, by Thai NCTZens (fans of Kpop boy band NCT) who accused him of copying Jaehyun’s I Like Me Better MV vlog style cover with his song After Glow. Mew’s studio then issued multiple apologies and took down the song, but fans harassed him by insulting him for his sexuality, music career, and education (among other things), and demanded he be pulled from sponsorships. This happened over 8 days until Mew hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the people who accused him on social media on many issues, mostly allegations.

BL actors who got “caught” lying about being single

The BL fandom is undoubtedly all about the ships (or pairings) – and there are a few popular ones who manage to gain a loyal band of fans who support all their fan service. The premise behind the fan service is usually to perpetuate the myth that the “couple” are more than just friends, and some fans buy into this entirely. So when it’s revealed that any one of them has a girlfriend (which isn’t uncommon), fans tend to turn on them which can lead to some hairy moments.

Fans of MaxTul – co-stars and on-screen couple Max Nattapol (Together With Me, Manner of Death) and Tul Pakorn – were shocked when they discovered that a randomly-posted photo on Instagram featuring Max being cozy with actress Mook Woranit at a spa. Mook took her post down soon after. Max also had to make a public announcement on March 2021 that he was indeed dating Mook.

OhmNanon – who are co-leads Ohm Pawat and Nanon Korapat of Bad Buddy – surged in popularity recently due to their highly successful BL drama. While fans were praising their (very close) off-screen relationship, things took a turn when Ohm was found hanging out with a random non-celebrity girl and their pictures went viral. This led rabid fans to dig up her social media accounts, and began harassing her. They’ve also blamed Ohm for lying about being single.

Related: Popular BL couples

There are many more tales of scandals, both minor and major, that have been happening in the Thai BL industry in recent years. With the popularity of the genre, it won’t be surprising to hear more in the coming months or years.