Thai pop star who wore Nazi swastika t-shirt during TV performance issues apology

"In the future, we will take better precaution and make every effort to ensure that an incident of this kind will never happen again.”

Thai pop star Pichayapa ‘Namsai’ Natha has issued an apology after causing outrage by wearing a Nazi swastika t-shirt while performing on TV.

The 19-year-old singer, who is a member of the girl group BNK48, took to the stage alongside her bandmates for a televised rehearsal earlier this week. Images from the appearance soon went viral, with many criticising Natha’s highly inappropriate and offensive choice of outfit.

Among criticism levelled at the star, Israel’s deputy ambassador to Thailand Smadar Shapira expressed her “shock and dismay” over the item of clothing.

“Presenting Nazi symbols by the band’s singer hurt the feelings of millions around the world, whose relatives were murdered by the Nazis,” she said, while also highlighting that today (January 27) is the International Day of Remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust.

Now, a statement from the band has been issued, which reads: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the incidence on 25 January 2019 when one of the members featured a costume which included inappropriate print.”

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สำหรับเหตุการณ์ที่เกิดขึ้น หนูรู้สึกเสียใจและรู้สึกผิดเป็นอย่างมาก ทุกสิ่งเกิดขึ้นมาจากความผิดพลาดของหนูเอง ขอน้อมรับความผิดพลาดทั้งหมดที่เกิดขึ้นค่ะ บนโลกใบนี้มีสิ่งต่างๆที่หนูจะต้องเรียนรู้อีกมากมาย โปรดให้คำชี้แนะและตักเตือน เพื่อให้หนูได้โตเป็นผู้ใหญ่ที่ดีในวันข้างหน้า หนูไม่อาจกลับไปแก้ไขความผิดพลาดนั้นได้ แต่หนูสัญญาว่าจะไม่เกิดเหตุการณ์แบบนี้อีก โปรดให้อภัยหนูด้วยนะคะ #BNK48 #NamsaiBNK48

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Posting on the group’s Facebook page, Natha apologised for wearing the t-shirt, saying: “We inadvertently caused dismay and distress to people affected by the past event on the crime against humanity all over the world.

“In the future, we will take better precaution and make every effort to ensure that an incident of this kind will never happen again.”

On her Instagram page, the singer asked fans to help raise her awareness on the Holocaust. “Please, give me your good advice to make me be a better girl,” she said. “And I promise, I will not make [this mistake] again.”

Natha has also met with H.E. Ambassador of Israel Dr Meir Shlomo in person to offer her apologies, with the band agreeing to take part in an educational workshop on the Holocaust.

According to Shapira, the Ambassador said following the meeting: “I understand that it was an act arising from lack of knowledge and lack of awareness, and I’m pleased that they have apologised and agreed to hold together an educational activity in the future.”

See Smadar Shapira’s Twitter thread above.

As the BBC notes, the use of Nazi imagery has previously sparked outrage in Thailand. Back in 2013, students at Chulalongkorn University painted an Adolf Hitler mural which featured the dictator with Batman and other superheroes.