Comment on Thai Miss Universe gown earns complaint to police

Combined Shape

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai social media influencer who criticized a gown worn by her country’s Miss Universe contestant could end up in court after another online personality filed a complaint with police charging that her thumbs-down fashion comment defamed the royal family.

Kitjanut Chaiyosburana, a businessman and politician, said Wednesday that he filed his complaint after seeing a Facebook post by Wanchaleom Jamneanphol, who disparaged a blue dress designed by Princess Srivannavari Nariratana, a daughter of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Miss Universe Thailand, Sophida Kancharin, wore the gown during a Dec. 5 promotional event that was part of the pageant, won in Bangkok on Monday by the Philippines’ Catriona Gray.

Police Col. Siriwat Deepor, spokesman for the Technology Crime Suppression Bureau, said the defamation complaint had been received and would be investigated.

Wanchaleom has deleted the critical post and apologized Monday to Princess Srivannavari in another Facebook post.

Trending:
Trump Launches New Website to Replace Deleted Social Accounts, Mobilizes Fans to Retake Twitter

“Your Royal Highness Sirivannavari Nariratana, I, Wanchaleom Jamneanphol, did not have any intention to insult or disrespect the high institution,” Wanchaleom wrote, employing language used exclusively to address Thai royalty. “I feel deeply guilty and sorry for what had happened.”

Police could forward the complaint to prosecutors as a violation of the Computer Crime Act, which carries a punishment of five years in prison and fines for spreading false information and damaging national security. Similar cases have also been treated as lese majeste, or insulting the monarchy, punishable by three to 15 years’ imprisonment.

“I acted as a Thai to protect the country’s reputation and to set an example,” complainant Kitjanut told The Associated Press. “So many times people make careless comments and it ends with just an apology.”

Kitjanut and Wanchaleom are both popular figures in Thailand’s online LGBT community. Wanchaleom is a transgender woman with over 500,000 followers on Facebook and Kitjanut is a transgender man with more than 400,000 Facebook followers.

Kitjanut said that he did not want to criticize a fellow member of the LGBT community because people outside already have a negative view of them, but that he acted because he wants justice.

“There are people saying why is a tomboy criticizing a trans,” he said. “But for me, it’s not about protecting your own group of people, but about right and wrong. She (Wanchaleom) is a big influencer and she has a large following. So she should set a good example for others.”

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation