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A Thai celebrity actor has defended a magazine cover photo of his 2-year-old adopted sister being kissed on the lips by a fellow adult actor.
The photo, published on the cover of the weekly Thai magazine Sud Subda (End of the Week), features 20-year-old heartthrob actor Jirayu “James” Tangsrisuk kissing the two-year-old Nong Wanmai. Wanmai is the adopted sister of Pakorn “Boy” Chatborirak, 29, a fellow actor and friend of Mr. Jirayu.
Although the pair has not collaborated in any movies, celebrity news and fans of Mr. Jirayu started referring to him and Wanmai as koo jin — an “ideal couple” — after Mr. Pakorn joked on social media that his sister finds Mr. Jirayu more handsome than her own adopted brother.
The magazine cover quickly sparked an uproar on social media, with many describing the kiss-on-the-lips as “creepy” and verging on pedophilia. Others noted the inappropriateness of the caption of the photo, which reads “ideal couple separated by age.”
Speaking to Khaosod today, Wanmai’s brother Mr. Pakorn defended the photo.
“I have seen it. Personally, I feel so-so. I don’t feel anything in particular,” Mr. Pakorn said. “I think it’s an angle that shows cuteness. Something like a little sister and older brother kissing.”
“What’s more, Wanmai is only two years old. James and my family are very close. We don’t see him as stranger. Wanmai is also very close to James. I think it’s normal for them to express their love by hugs and kisses.”
He offered his own experience as a guide.
“Like me and Anda,” Mr. Pakorn said, referring to child actress Kultira Yordchang. “When I first met Anda, she was still a kid, so I hugged her and kissed her cheek. But when she is 6-7 years old, I no longer do that to her.”
Mr. Pakorn, who adopted Wanmai from an orphanage, insisted that he has received a lot of positive feedback about the photo-shoot.
“Mostly they say the photos are really cute. [The publishers] also say the magazines are selling very well.”
Mr. Jirayu could not be reached for comment.