Last weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live featured a commercial parody in which various men extol the virtues of Rosetta Stone language-learning software, and the ease with which it enables them to pick up useful Thai phrases such as “How much?” and “Is that for the whole night?”—a lark predicated on the notion that some men travel to Thailand to take advantage of its government-tolerated sex industry, which is certainly a fanciful jest. Unfortunately, not everyone is laughing, even in a listless, home-on-a-Saturday-night-and-kinda-drunk sort of way: The Thai government has called upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help it address its prostitution problem in inarguably the most effective way: By getting this SNL sketch removed from YouTube, so that no one will ever associate Thailand with prostitution again.
But of course, that’s not all Thailand plans on doing, because that would be laughably insignificant and totally avoiding the issue. “The government will also inform the US Embassy that the commercial spoof is tarnishing Thailand’s image, and will ask the embassy to explain the situation to the producer of Saturday Night Live,” Thai Culture Minister Sonthaya Khunploem said in lambasting the sketch’s impact on Thailand’s public image, which was until now mostly just about curry and those pretty umbrellas with paintings on them. No doubt upon being informed that Thai government officials wished her to shame Lorne Michaels for turning a blind eye and allowing innocent Thai to suffer, just so he could profit off other people getting their own sick kicks from it, U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney definitely got right on that.
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