Sitala to stay in H1-Key, says K-pop record label
Sitala Wongkrachang, a daughter of late actor and director-turned-activist Saranyu Wongkrachang, will remain a part of the soon-to-debut K-pop girl group H1-Key despite calls on Thai social media to ban her, the band's managers said.
K-Pop artist Sitala Wongkrachang (Photo from H1-KEY Facebook account)
Commenting on the fuss, the South Korean record label Grandline Group (GLG) said it had decided to "not change the members of the group".
The company, it said, cannot hold Sitala accountable "on the basis of her father's past decisions and actions that were beyond her responsibility".
The hashtag campaigns #banSITALA and #BanLuknang were among the top trending items on Thai social media after GLG promoted the girl group on Nov 29.
GLG added that Sitala's decision to describe her father as a role model was unrelated to Wongkrachang's political point of view, but a sign of respect for him as a parent, actor and director.
The company said she was pained and full of remorse due to growing concerns in her homeland, which had given the agency a greater understanding of Thai society.
"The Sitala that we know is a polite and hardworking person," the company said in prepared remarks.
She was proud of her home country and "genuinely values and loves her culture", it added, saying she wanted to bring honour to Thais.
The company urged people to support her as she has been working hard in a foreign land to fulfill her dream.
The label said it was treading carefully given the mixed emotions people feel about the singer in relation to her father. It said it had taken into account the historical, political, economical, and social context to understand the situation better.
Finally, GLG apologised for those who felt hurt by any of the singer's comments or actions and sought their understanding while also hoping for peace and prosperity in Thailand.
Sitala courted controversy even before her debut as Thai netizens discovered she and her family had joined the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) rallies in 2013–2014, which led to the 2014 coup.
Anger against her spread beyond Thailand to include other groups and individuals from around the world.