British luxury fashion brand Burberry named Vachirawit “Bright” Chivaaree as its latest brand ambassador on Jul 28, making him the very first ambassador from South Asia Pacific to join the brand.
Vachiravit became an online sensation in 2020 when he debuted along with his co-star Metawin “Win” Opas-Iamkajorn in the massively popular Y-series (also known as “boy love”) television show 2gether. The series was also adapted into a film last year.
Once a niche genre in Thailand, boy love series have exploded in popularity over the past several years. Supporters of these dramas are notoriously fanatic about the actors (even convincing themselves that the on-screen relationships are real) and are known to quickly buy up products endorsed by their favorite stars regardless of the brand.
Although the phenomenon has its roots in 1970s Japan, Thailand has been notable for producing some of the most popular boy love series in Asia over the past two years, launching more than 48 shows according to the fan website blwatcher.com.
Despite the themes of gay romance that lie at the core of most Y-series plotlines, there is controversy about the impact these shows have on the wider LGBTQ+ community. Thailand’s boy love content, and in many cases the army of supporters that consume it, has been criticized for commodifying same-sex relationships but doing little else to support the wider LGBTQ+ cause. The massively popular movement has had a marginal effect on policy decisions like the marriage equality bill, which was initially dismissed until getting a recent surprise nod from the Thai parliament in June