A German TV show last night apologized for mocking King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida in an episode that provoked an angry response from the kingdom.
Morning show Fruhstucksfernsehen on Sat.1 issued an apology this morning to those who found the segment “inappropriate and offensive” after the Royal Thai Embassy in Berlin formally complained.
“The editorial department never meant to insult Thai culture in any way. If that happened nevertheless, we hereby apologize formally,” it said in English in a statement posted online Tuesday.
That came after the Thai mission in Berlin issued its letter saying the segment was insulting.
“For more than 150 years, Germany and Thailand have taken care in diplomatic relations, characterized by great understanding and great respect for both countries,” the embassy wrote.
“The fact that you are making fun of such a deeply rooted tradition … without respect and understanding, we feel is very inappropriate. We can’t accept this incident in any case. It is not to be ruled out that the German-Thai relations could be damaged by the show.”
The embassy expressed its disappointment in the hosts’ behavior and demanded a personal apology from each.
In the now-infamous segment which aired last week, female host Marlene Lufen lies on the floor imitating Queen Suthida’s prostration at the feet of King Vajiralongkorn to receive his blessing, an image of which is displayed on a newspaper held by male host Jochen Schropp.
At one point the show superimposes a seal over the shot, comparing it to the prostrating Queen.
Both hosts reenacted the scene, taking turns prostrating. Schroppt hammed it up further by dragging himself across the floor melodramatically.
Since then, angry Thais have been brigading the show and channel on social media.
“Shameless TV show and lack of education, only good man will respect other countries’ culture and traditions #RepectThailand,” user Lynnly Jung wrote in reply to the apology.
“Please do not regard this behaviour as a mirror of German society. Not every German is familiar with Thai culture and can understand as well as correctly classify this ceremony. Media tries to attract attention and influence people through exaggerated, unreflected and in this case wrong reporting,” user Philip Kruger wrote.
Some of the angry reactions went way past reason to attack Germany as a whole, with frequent references to Hitler and Nazis.
“We’re not your friends that you can make fun of like that. It’s not funny. Happy Nazi Day you assholes. You animals. Evil country!” user Atiporn AL wrote commented yesterday.