Madam Secretary and the monarchy

21 11 2018

A couple of days ago PPT, along with plenty of others, pointed out to febrile Thai officials that the Madam Secretary television show is a fictional TV show, even if its attention to the monarchy and lese majeste seemed reasonably accurate for the period since the 2014 military coup.

But, of course, as has been the case for several decades, royalism demands that officials “defend” the monarchy, keeping the issue in the news rather than simply allowing it to fade away.

That coven of royalists at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it had “asked the Thai embassy in Washington D.C. to convey our concerns on the content of the show’s particular episode, which touches upon Thailand and the monarchy institution…”.

For those who don’t know, the monarchy is often referred to as “the institution” in Thailand. Royalists and opponents alike have fallen into this silly argot.

The Ministry also stated that it had “lodged a complaint that the producers of the show didn’t consider the sensitivity of the matter.”

The “sensitivity” might be that the king-as-portrayed died or it may relate to the barbs directed at monarchy and the call for it to be overthrown.

Not unexpectedly, a U.S. embassy spokeswoman has explained that the “show is a fictional work, an expression of the show’s creators, and is not a reflection of U.S. government views…”.

Stating the obvious may not sooth ultra-royalists, especially as they recognize the portrayal as accurate of feudal Thailand. That said, the junta hasn’t mobilized anti-US protests whereas it might have a couple of years ago.


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