Thai Leader Threatens TV Soap Opera Takeover

And we thought TV execs were too hands on! The following article just might prompt a re-think in any plans you have for writing in Thailand. (But then again, a gig’s a gig, so…):

by Scott Neuman

Thailand’s coup leader turned prime minister is not happy with the daily fare of infidelity and violence that is a staple of the country’s television soap operas — and he’s prepared to351774646 write the scripts himself if that’s what it takes.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who staged a coup in May against the elected government, says he wants scripts that encourage harmony in society.

“I have ordered that scripts be written, including plays on reconciliation, on tourism and on Thai culture,” Prayuth told reporters on Friday, according to Voice of America. “They are writing plots at the moment and if they can’t finish it I will write it myself,” he said of a team of government-appointed writers.

Taking a personal interest in the country’s entertainment programming is only the latest in a number of moves by Prayuth since the coup that have struck many as ranging from heavy-handed to downright odd.

It’s not even the first time that Prayuth has sought to put his artistic stamp on the country’s cultural life. Soon after seizing power from the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, he ordered a campaign “to bring happiness to the people,”complete with a patriotic ballad he wrote himself, featuring the reassuring lyrics: “We offer to take care and protect you with our hearts” and “give us a little more time.”

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