If you’ve been keeping up with Asian entertainment news, you might have heard about the recent scandal surrounding the cast of a boys’ love Thai drama, 2gether.

Vachirawit Chiva-aree, the lead actor in 2gether who is better known as Bright, had irked Chinese netizens after he liked a tweet that labelled Hong Kong as a “country”. The tweet was posted by a photographer who had accompanied the label with photos that he took in Hong Kong.

For those of you who are unfamiliar as to why this may be considered offensive, China has always considered Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet to be part of China.

Hong Kong citizens themselves are divided: some are pro-Chinese, while others are pro-independence and want to break away from China. The discussion has always been contentious and most celebrities have learnt to be careful with what they say lest they incur the wrath of either side.

Bright’s action of liking the tweet was seen as him recognising Hong Kong as a country (as opposed to a special administrative region of China). Unsurprisingly, Chinese netizens were not impressed. They started condemning him and the photographer, the original poster (OP) of the initial tweet.

After the backlash, the OP deleted his tweet and apologised. He re-posted the photos from the original tweet, but tagged Hong Kong as a location instead of country.

He also apologised for his post.

Similarly, Bright posted an apology and promised to not make the same mistake again. 

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Apology Accepted

Chinese netizens were generally accepting of his apology and thanked him for doing so.

Some Chinese netizens also explained why they were upset with the original tweet.

And Then Bright’s Girlfriend Came Along 

If you thought that the drama’s done and dusted, well, sit back because that’s only the start.

Bright’s girlfriend, Weeraya, did something that further incurred the wrath of Chinese netizens: she retweeted a contentious tweet that claims a virology lab in Hubei housed 1,500 species of animals, including bats, to carry out vaccine tests.

The tweet further claimed that when the coronavirus outbreak started, China claimed that America was responsible for the virus but didn’t allow foreigners to investigate the possibility of a leak from the lab.

The account posts a lot of anti-Chinese tweets, most of which are related to Covid-19.

Following the backlash from Chinese netizens, Weeraya made her Twitter account private. 

That 2017 Comment

And if you thought the situation couldn’t get any messier, it did.

Global Times reported that Chinese netizens tracked back Weeraya’s Instagram posts and found fault with a comment she made in 2017. (We can’t find this Instagram post. If anyone finds it, please direct us to it. ?)

Bright had reportedly commented on a photo of her taken in Taiwan wearing a Chinese traditional outfit: “So pretty, just like a Chinese girl.” Weeraya replied: “What?”

When someone asked what style that was, she replied, “Taiwanese girl”.

Chinese netizens took this to mean that she implied that “Taiwan is not part of China”, since she didn’t use the term “Chinese girl”.

As the drama continues to unfold, Chinese netizens decided to boycott the drama, 2gether. A group that has been providing subtitles and promoting the drama said it would stop doing so.

Image: Weibo

Some fans also said they would stop supporting Bright because of his girlfriend’s actions, while others took it to social media to voice out their discontent towards Weeraya.

Thais Respond On Twitter 

And the drama continues.

Thai Twitter users started making memes out of the situation, even going as far as to mention politically sensitive issue, including claiming that Taiwan and Hong Kong are not part of China. 

Their bold statements got the attention of a pro-independence Taiwanese mayor and Hong Kong activists who tweeted their support for the Thais and referred to them as “friends”.

We’ll update when the drama has new developments.

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Image: Bright’s Instagram