TV show slammed as sex lure to teens

News

Parents and child activists yesterday called for the rescheduling of the popular reality-television programme “Destiny chapter 1” aired during prime time on Channel 9, claiming it might lure Thai teenagers into having sex.

Parents, children, doctors and a university professor gathered at the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to ask that the state-run station remove the programme from its current time slot of 6pm on Sundays to a later time. They cited a Cabinet resolution which asked television stations to air more constructive programmes for children during prime time.

“Destiny chapter 1” is similar to the US reality show “The Bachelor”. In this version, the male participant has blind dates with three women, and he eventually has to pick one to be his girlfriend. The programme showed participants touching closely and embracing one another after having only been on two dates.

Suchoke Assavapayukul, 38, from the Parent Network, said he was disappointed that the state-run station allowed such programming to air at a time when many children were at home and watching television.

“I’m sure the programme gets a good rating. If I were single, I would probably like it, he said, “but in fact I have a daughter. I find it unendurable when I imagine how I would feel if my daughter behaved the same way as the women on the programme. I suffer.”

He demanded that the programme be moved to a time slot around midnight.

High-school student Khununya Junthongaun said many of her friends enjoyed the programme but she thought it disparaged women’s honour by depicting three competing for a man and doing anything to gain his attention.

She said the programme commercialised the feeling of love, a feeling that teenagers give much importance to.

Chulalongkorn University professor Amornwit Nakhornthap said the media acted as “culture designers” in that they could make behaviour that was previously non-existent in society a reality.

The show has a strong following among teenagers, many of whom posted messages of disapproval on web boards regarding the protest surrounding the programme.

Published on February 12, 2005

Chatrarat Kaewmorakot

The Nation

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‘No feverish jostling’

Thai Rak Thai Party leader Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday dashed cold water on feverish jostling for coveted Cabinet posts, saying he would make his own decisions but would welcome suggestions.

“I find it normal for my party’s faction members to support their favourites, but I will not succumb to their pressure,” the prime minister said.

The premier reiterated that he had not started to review prospective candidates for his next Cabinet and he was still open to recommendations.

He expressed surprise that the media was bouncing around certain names, including MCOT Plc president Mingkwan Sangsuwan.

“I have not met with Mingkwan and I think he should remain at MCOT’s helm because his organisation has just been listed on the stock exchange,” Thaksin said.

Mingkwan was reportedly tipped for the tourism and sports portfolio.

“Foreign policy will remain unchanged although I have yet to finalise my decision on whether to pick a new foreign minister,” Thaksin said, adding that he had two experts in mind.

He said he would organise a brainstorming session with selected educators before picking a replacement for Adisai Bhodaramik, who has stepped down as education minister.

Acting on Thaksin’s cue, deputy party leader Suwat Liptapanlop reprimanded party-list candidate Pratheep Krithawet for blurting out on Thursday that Suwat was the top contender for transport.

“Pratheep might have drunk too much wine before babbling to the local press. No one asked him to speak on the issue to the media and reporters did not pose the question to him.”

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