11 July 2024

Grandline Group (GLG), a South Korean record label, issued a statement today saying that is to keep its Thai artist Sitala Wongkrachang as a member of its new girl group “H1-KEY”, after the controversy over her and her family’s role in Thai politics.

#SITALA was trending on Thailand’s twitter last week, with millions of tweets alleging that the artist’s family, especially her father Sarunyu Wongkrachang, are supporters of Thailand’s undemocratic regime. GLG responded today saying that, after much consideration, it cannot hold Sitala accountable for her father’s past decisions and actions, which are beyond her responsibility.

The record label acknowledged the concerns raised by Thai fans and considered Thailand’s context before coming to the conclusion. It emphasised that, though Sitala had cited her father as a role model, it was based upon his parenting and profession, not political views or actions.

GLG emphasised that Sitala is polite and hardworking, calling her a proud Thai who only dreams of bringing honour and warmth to her home country by pursuing her path as a K-pop star.

The statement also revealed that Sitala feels remorse and pain regarding the concerns voiced from Thailand.

Hours after the statement was tweeted on GLG’s official account this morning, it has now been re-tweeted thousands of times, with most users condemning the decision.