BANGKOK — Thai netizens on Tuesday called for a boycott on an American doughnut chain after one of its employees was reportedly sacked over his critical remarks about the monarchy.
The man, who questioned the originality of King Rama IX’s works, was identified as the same employee fired by Krispy Kreme Thailand. Although the company’s statement said the employee failed to pass his probation, many suspected it was a retaliation for his Facebook post.
“Krispy Kreme Thailand would like to inform you that Mr. Chaiyaporn Sornbudnak had been working with us since Jan. 7 on a probationary period and his employment was terminated on May 10, 2020,” the statement wrote.
In his Facebook post, Chaiyaporn noted that some of King Rama IX’s musical pieces were lifted from Western songs, and added some comments on his own. Due to the strict royal defamation law, Khaosod English cannot republish the remark in full.
His posts were subsequently reshared by a royalist Facebook page, drawing condemnation from pro-monarchy netizens.
Many netizens criticized the brand for what they perceived as an unfair dismissal.
“People should not be fired just because they have an opinion,” user @eeebtanniaa tweeted.
“If you don’t respect people’s voice, we don’t support your business,” user @45coffee51books tweeted.
Thailand’s lese majeste law, which bans negative discussions of the monarchy, carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Royalists on social media also actively “doxxed” those who posted comments critical of the Royal Family.