Thai indie band Gym and Swim are currently undergoing a six-month hiatus after alleged years-old sexist and homophobic tweets from guitarist Nitikrist “Terk” Attakrist surfaced over the weekend.
The hiatus was announced by the band’s label, Parinam Music, on Sunday (June 5). “Gym and Swim will be taking a hiatus for [six] months, as for the band member who commented inappropriately, he will be taking a break from the band indefinitely,” the label wrote.
Following the hiatus announcement, frontman Chalerm Soongsak announced in a private Facebook post that he is leaving the band, sharing that he does not share Terk’s alleged views.
“Right now there is a feeling of deep regret, and I think an apology should come with a punishment. I think everyone would feel that taking responsibility together is the right thing to do,” Chalerm wrote, according to a Coconuts report.
NME has reached out to Parinam Music, Gym and Swim and Chalerm Soongsak for comment.
Per Coconuts’ report, Terk allegedly wrote on Saturday (June 4) that boys’ love (BL) drama stars Putthipong “Bilkin” Assaratanakul and Krit “PP” Amnuaydechkorn “should just fuck each other” in a now-deleted tweet after the two were announced to appear at Japan’s Summer Sonic festival.
Terk’s tweet – which came just one day after Bangkok held its first Pride Parade in 16 years – quickly came under fire, spawning an onslaught of #BanGymAndSwim posts on the social media platform.
Twitter users then dug up further alleged homophobic and sexist tweets from the guitarist’s profile dating back to 2013, several of which reportedly saw the musician compare the size of popular female actresses’ breasts.
Another alleged tweet from Terk saw him making unsolicited remarks about a fellow commuter on public transport: “The woman in front of me at the MRT is wearing an open back top. It makes me want to unhook her bra. Why did she have to wear such a shirt?”
Terk’s Twitter account has since been deleted.
Terk has since issued an apology on Facebook, writing that looking back on his old tweets “they’re very disgusting. Because in the past, I would like to admit that I was a bad boy who used to have racist thoughts that come with young age”.
He also apologised to the two BL actors that he targetted on Saturday, writing: “I admit that the words were inappropriate. I am personally open and respectful of the sexuality, diversity and passion of LGBTQIA+ culture, which is the beauty of modern society.”
Gym and Swim, who released the single ‘Say Hello’ in February, were scheduled to release their long-awaited sophomore album later this year. It is currently unclear if the record will release as scheduled, or if the band’s current status has halted the project.