The hashtag #ข่มขืนผ่านจอพอกันที (Enough with rape scenes on screen) trended on Twitter in Thailand on Tuesday with many criticizing the normalization of rape culture on Thai television.
The hashtag went viral after a lakorn (Thai soap opera) Mia Jum Pen (Forced Wife), from Channel 3 showed a rape scene featuring one of its leading female characters. Many viewers found the scene appalling and inappropriate.
“I thought something of this sort was already over,” one Twitter user commented. “But how am I seeing this again in 2021?”
“I’ve been seeing this on tv from a very young age. This is NOT okay. WE NEED TO STOP NORMALIZING RAPE,” Amanda Obdam, Miss Universe Thailand 2020, shared on her Twitter.
The hashtag has been used over 214k tweets as of Tuesday morning along with #แบนเมียจําเป็น (ban Mia Jum Pen), calling for the removal of the lakorn and better content from the Thai entertainment industry.
Netizens also note how rape and sexual abuse have long been normalized in Thai culture and TV screens.
In Thailand, sexual abuse and rape remains a serious societal problem. Playing and acting out scenes of rape, which mostly feature the leading female and male characters who later fall in love, sends the wrong message, netizens argue.
Many users have also drawn comparisons between local entertainment to the quality of South Korea’s entertainment industry, highlighting how advanced the latter is in portraying its characters and society, and how Thailand still falls short in doing so – even in 2021.