Sunday, 13 November 2016

Nott still tangled, there goes the Boom, Jakjaan does her bit

Celebrities temper their criticism

Nott, Mint
Celebrities are appealing to the public to give disgraced TV presenter Akanat “Nott” Ariyaritwikul a fair go, after earlier joining a social media-driven wave of condemnation when he punched a motorcyclist who hit his Mini.

A stream of stars has come forward to urge the public to moderate its criticism of Nott, after the abuse spread to members of his family. Some are also concerned about Nott himself, saying he will have little "space" left in society if the drama carries on.

The softening in tone comes after stars scrambled to avoid being associated with the former presenter, with some even urging Nott be expelled from the industry for making them all look bad.

Nott came under criticism after a clip emerged on Nov 6 of him punching a city motorcyclist and ordering him to perform a wai before his Mini Countryman.

The motorcyclist, Kittisak Singto, 25, said his bike was hit by a taxi, which knocked him off balance and into the presenter's Mini, which suffered a minor scrape to its tail light.

Amid the public uproar, GMMTV scrapped its contract with Nott, a presenter on its network. After earlier settling the matter at Yannawa police station, the motorcyclist's family changed its mind and decided to lay charges.

One of Nott’s most strident critics was Channel 7 actress Amena "Mo" Pinit, who said Nott should be hounded out of the industry.


"It will only deteriorate if you stay on. You are so lacking in ethics. People in the industry will suffer because of you. You're not a man; if you wore a dress, you'd look cuter," she wrote.

She also criticised his lawyer, Nott's would-be father-in-law Adul Tinapong, who argued Nott was merely defending himself. According to Mr Kittisak’s lawyer, Nott has denied all charges, and plans to counter-sue.

"If Nott had simply said sorry everyone would forgive, but he refused to admit responsibility," she said. "Nott should leave the industry and lead the life of a ruffian somewhere else."

Presenter Narakorn "Ta" Tiyayon likened Nott to a freak of nature, and blamed Grammy, his employer, for failing to keep him grounded.

"Grammy has raised him as an angel to the point where this 'product' was no longer natural. He fell in love with himself and thought he was above ordinary mortals. Now with this incident Grammy has cut him free like some temple dog," she said.

Nott, 28, entered the industry as a contestant in Cleo's 2009 Bachelor competition, before graduating to modelling, TV ads, presenting TV shows and performing in soap operas.

Newcomer actress Nuanprang "Namtao" Sriboonmee also chimed in, saying Nott should have given Mr Kittisak a break, as he is less fortunate in life.

Namtao, a former petrol pump attendant in Yasothon, came to prominence when a civil servant criticised her as an "ugly creature" on social media. She has since appeared in a movie.

Those scrambling to avoid collateral damage from the Nott saga include actress Nutwara "Mint" Vongvasana, who came under attack for posting images of her with Nott, cleaning toilets at a temple in Phitsanulok as a tribute to the late King.

She said she took part in the good work without knowing about the clip of Nott hitting the motorcyclist, which she saw only when she returned to Bangkok. "We don't have any relationship or anything to do with each other; he's just someone I work with," she wrote.

Channel 3 actress Pimpatchara "Pie" Vajrasevee apologised after appearing to side with Nott when she said his only mistake was to slip up in public.

"I wasn't defending those who do bad deeds, merely saying that as a public figure everyone is watching his conduct and he must set an example," she wrote.

By week’s end, however, sentiment was starting to turn back in Nott's favour, with several stars admonishing critics for going too far.

Actor Kawin, or Porama "Panjan" Imanothai, said critics should avoid setting a double standard. "If he has done wrong to the extent where his parents and family no longer have a place to stand and have to take up residence on another planet, we are going too far," he said.

Actor Pasut "Art" Banyam, joined by comedian Kotee Aramboy, said criticising Nott was enough, and his family should be spared.

"His parents may have taught him right from wrong, but he can't remember. Don't pile it on. Change society to one of forgiveness," Art said.

Singer Pongsak "Aof" Rattanaphong said critics on social media were scarier than Nott’s actions.

"Just as well we have an entertainment industry, or we'd never survive. Stop abusing him just to join the trend, and let the law take its course," he wrote.

Permission sought for romantic holiday

Boom, Give
Actor Piyaphun "Boom" Khamkrit has whisked his actress girlfriend off to the United States for a romantic holiday, weeks after asking her father for permission to call her his mate.

Boom, who recently left the air force after signing up for six months' service during the annual conscription round in April, said he had promised the family of his girlfriend, actress Ornlene "Give" Sothiwanwongse, he would seek their consent to take things further when he left service.

The young actor, who says he fell in love with Give when he spotted her in a TV soap, says the pair invited Give’s father for a meal late last month so he could formally ask permission to call her his girlfriend.

"I have abided by Thai customs during our four years together, consulting Give's family whenever something came up," he said last week, as he described the encounter.

"Still, her father didn't know I intended to ask permission, as I still had a week of air force service left to go. We were discussing his business, as he had a proposition to put to me. When that was over, I said Give and I had been talking a long time, and I would now like to take more responsibility for her."

He father thanked him for honouring his daughter, accepted the request and asked Boom to help take care of Give as he was busy with work.

"Give looked embarrassed and squirmed in her seat, but as I am the man, I had to carry on and try not to show anything," he said.

Boom won public praise in April when he signed up for air force duty after earlier deferring the annual conscription lottery draw three or four times.

He had put off a decision on military service the previous year as his younger sister, whose education he supports, was still studying, and his father had fallen ill.

"I asked Give to wait for me, as I wanted to give something back to the country," he said.

Boom goes back to work on a soap opera for Channel 7 when they return from their US trip, while their fans are also hoping he will pop the word.

Pitching in for rice farmers


Actress Akhamsiri "Jakjaan" Suwanasuk is doing her bit for stricken rice farmers, after a family contacted her in tears saying creditors were in danger of taking their crop.

The Channel 7 actress last week publicised the family's plight on Instagram, and left a contact number for those prepared to help buy their rice.

"They owed the debt for pesticide, fertiliser, and farm labour. They had worked in the fields all year to cultivate and harvest the crop, but ran out of time," she said.

"The money was payable on Nov 9, and if they failed to make the date the lender said they would have to give up their rice for 5.3 baht a kilogramme, which would have ruined them."

Farmers have been hit by plummeting rice prices at the mill, prompting some to sell direct via the internet.

Jakjaan, who with two actress friends earlier designed a logo to help farmers sell their rice, said she contacted the lenders and pushed out the payment date until harvest day on Sunday.

She also advertised their rice for sale on her Instagram (Hom Mali, 30 baht/kg, Riceberry rice 40 baht/kg). She was besieged with offers, from stars in the industry and the public at large, and the crop has now sold out.

"The family has been in touch to say they can now pay off their debt," she said. "We are meeting the delivery fees ourselves. We can't help everyone, but can make a start with this family."

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