TV show probed for distorting history

TV show probed for distorting history

Thao Suranari monument in Nakhon Ratchasima province (photo: Prasit Tangprasert)
Thao Suranari monument in Nakhon Ratchasima province (photo: Prasit Tangprasert)

The Real Ghosts television programme is facing scrutiny over its controversial depiction of local historical figures in one of its episodes.

Known in Thai as Chong Song Phee, the popular reality TV programme was broadcast on Channel 8 before it was pulled by the network following criticism. In an episode that aired this week, the show told a story about Thao Suranari, a revered historical figure among people in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Tewan Liptapallop, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister's Office, on Thursday said Channel 8 will face legal action for "distorting history".

Mr Tewan, who also oversees the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), on Thursday said the show's depiction of Thao Suranari, or Ya Mo, and her adopted daughter was offensive.

"Many Korat people are angry [with the channel]," he said, commenting on a social media storm. "The authorities will take legal action against it."

"This case is a lesson for other programmes that make historical references," Mr Tewan added. "The Korat people and I want to file lawsuits against the [channel]."

The people of Korat, also known as Nakhon Ratchasima, have expressed outrage against the host of the programme after he suggested that Ya Mo's adopted daughter was the mistress of her husband, who was governor of the area at the time.

The NOB has forwarded the programme's case to the provincial administration, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and the Fine Arts Department. An investigation will be launched.

The minister said provincial Buddhism offices across the kingdom have been told to take part in monitoring the production of supernatural TV shows in their respective areas in the future.

Channel 8 on Thursday announced it will pull the show in question from airing starting today. It is uncertain when it will return.

Sakchai Chartputsa, a representative of outraged Korat people, said the show and a host should make an apology in front of the Thao Suranari Monument.

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