Uni defends heartthrob Mario Maurer’s pro-govt thesis
Heartthrob actor Mario Maurer has become the latest celebrity caught up in the Thai political crossfire, after netizens slammed his 2016 Master’s for being “salim” – ultraconservative or ultra-royalist.
Mario’s alma mater Krirk University hit back at the slurs on Tuesday, saying the actor’s thesis met academic standards and addressed the political context of 2016, just two years after General Prayut Chan-o-cha came to power in a coup.
For his Master’s in political communication, Mario had surveyed celebrities' attitudes towards the Prayut-led junta regime, explained Asst Prof Nantana Nantawaropas, Dean of the College of Political
Communication. The resulting paper was assessed for research tools, test questionnaires, sample size, sampling method, analysis and discussion of results. Mario presented it to a committee of three experts and answered all their questions completely and clearly, earning a pass on October 27, 2016.
His research on the social media accounts of celebrities revealed that actors and actresses generally had a very positive attitude towards Prayut’s administration, though some expressed concern at suppression of free speech.
The dean noted that in 2016, the mood of the public and especially celebrities was more supportive of the prime minister. This may be completely different from the public mood today, he added.