How do you feel when you’re the one who has been complained?

I woke up in Germany time, and found out that in Thailand there was a film critic page criticizing a 3D animation that I worked on the script as propaganda for the Royal family in Thailand.

The animation is based on the story of a boy and his friend who went back to the past to learn about Thai history. Thai history that they have learned is mainly the glory stories of how each Thai king saved the country. During the process we worked intensely with historians and we had to follow the information they gave to us. It was the first time I got to work with the Minister of education and the first lady in person.

This project is planned to be broadcasted in one Educational TV Channel that is funded by the Royal non-profit organization, but when the pandemic hit, they decided to show the cartoon on the main national television for children to learn from home.

The post has been shared to the anti-royalist group, with 2.4 million members, it is on the top 30 of largest Facebook groups in the world. Some of the comments called it as the romanticization of the past, low-class propaganda art, worse than Nazi art, and comparing this work as North Korean media strategy. People in the group started to dig for more information and found some connection between the animation company owner and the government. 

The work that I thought no one would be interested in seeing, stabs me in the back. I am shattered by the comments, but at the same time I truly believe that it is a great lesson I have to learn. Though I know myself that I am not on the side that people said the animation is, but I can’t make any argument back to them rather than I was in need of a job at that time.

I am not looking for an excuse space. Without these complaints, I would probably never think about the consequences of the work. Isn’t this how the complaint works? I have learned my lesson. However, I am not sure the bigger establishment such as the animation company or the government who funded this project would feel the same way or not.

At the same time, once in a while I can still see posts on social media attacking the cartoon going on. I have carried this burden of feeling guilty, and I don’t know when the complaint stops. Strangely enough, I started to get used to those lashing because somehow, I realized the person who they are attacking is not mainly me but something bigger than that. Something that makes them feel it would be a threat to the kids that is why they have to make a complaint about this animation.

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