07 Jun


David Carradine’s death photo published in the Thai newspaper, without his family’s permission… begs the question… how insensitive are the Thai media to other people’s grief.

Let’s hope the Thai government introduces some laws ensuring the Thai media can’t do this again. It’s diplorable, and makes visitors to Thailand, think twice about going there.

Know what I mean?!


Posted by on June 7, 2009 in Entertainment Celebrity News


Tags: , , , , , , , ,


    • leeralf

      June 9, 2009 at 8:59 am

      you can find the video footage online on:

    • eramus

      June 14, 2009 at 5:11 am

      I know what you mean, however, I do not think it is a Thai phenomenon…this kind of insensitivity is found in the media world-wide.

    • ching1

      June 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm

      In other countries theirs no time to sensitive,When something happens reguardless how gruesome, photo’s are posted in the daily paper,because that’s reality. Here people want everything sugar coated,because their to sensitive. That’s why we have a problem understanding the people that grew up living and dealing with reality.

  1. gunseditor

    June 9, 2009 at 12:23 am

    His death magnifies the problem with “sex tourism” in Thailand.

    Check my blog on this issue

    • woodythai

      June 10, 2009 at 6:20 am

      This doesn’t have anything to do with ‘sex tourism’ in Bangkok and in Thailand. He didn’t come here to tie himself up, he could have done that anywhere…

      Also, the fact the Thais published the photo also doesn’t have anything to do with insensitivity to death or anything like that. Because of their buddhist culture and beliefs on death and dying, they’re nonchalant about the afterlife, because it’s cyclical. For them, dying and death is no big deal, and contributes to their wonderfully laid-back and peaceful attitude. If you’ve ever spent time here and got to know the people, this whole situation wouldn’t be suprising in the least.

  2. Jauhari

    June 9, 2009 at 1:09 am

    He Smiles not DEATH

  3. Wadowad

    June 9, 2009 at 3:24 am

    It is an accepted cultural norm to print photos of dead, dying, bloody, squashed, slashed, decappitaded, burnt, people on the front page of Thai newspapers. There is nothing wrong with that as evidenced by the fact that the newspaper that published the photo, Thai Rath, is BY FAR the largest circulating newspaper in Thailand.

    Certainly you’re not advocationg censoring a free press and imposing cultural imperialism upon Thais simply because you find something culturally offensive and against your subjective cultural values? That would be wrong.

    You’ll just have to get over it.


    • horiwood

      June 9, 2009 at 8:19 am

      hey Wadowad… thanks for your response.

      i think spitting out ping pong balls from vaginas in bars in the main streets of Thailand, isn’t necessarily right either… but it happens in Thailand every day.

      know what i mean? no judgement from me, but that’s just a part of daily thai culture too.

      it’s not about cultural imperialism… it’s about human dignity, actually.

      im just more concerned that thailand is seen as a destination not to visit, which would hurt the thai people even more and the thai economy.

      then thai cultural imperialism has hung its own economy out to dry by a lack of perceived sensitivity to other countries cultures; which being global citizens too… is far deeper and more far reaching then… just a thai way of doing things makes it okay and right.

      again, thanks for sharing… and your view and all views are appreciated on Horiwood.Com.


      • bankuei

        June 10, 2009 at 7:54 pm

        Of course, just after the tsunami a few years back, American media was kind enough to put out stuff like radio songs mocking the situation while thousands were dead…

        Not that two wrongs make a right, just that it’s really interesting whose grieving we feel necessary to get up in arms about…

      • thecowboykid

        June 11, 2009 at 2:13 am

        Actually, ping pong shows are not really a part of Thai society at all. Most Thais are as oblivious to the happenings in the few red light districts as they are to what the rest of the world might think of their society in general. These few red light districts are an aberration that exist because the foreign cultures of the world have grown to expect certain displays and come here to spend this tourist money of which you speak. In most ways, the Thais are geniuses at using the cultures of other countries to their own economic gain.
        With that said, I would like to add legitimacy to the other post that made note of the fact that car crashes and other types of gore are common place in the Thai media. This is also playing to the capitalist nature of the free press which is actually doing better here than in the West. I would also like to agree with the poster that Thais really don’t care if anyone comes here at all. In fact, many of them would be much happier.
        I am not trying to be rude, just responding.

      • pchaisawat

        June 14, 2009 at 9:18 am

        bankuei made an excellent point.

        i wouldn’t want to get into this debate, since it can actually be a long one. thai people right now have hurt their own country in more ways than one, our economy, our reputation, and even our King, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that those who do not fully understand the situation should mock us.

        but to be perfectly honest, thai media thinks nothing more than to sell.. no wonder why we’re full of sh** in the world’s eyes.

    • maria

      June 12, 2009 at 11:06 pm

      I agree !!

  4. leetgamer

    June 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    What disturbs me is that popular posts you see on the WordPress dashboard are 2-line uninteresting ‘articles’.

    • J. Dean

      June 10, 2009 at 7:34 pm

      My thoughts exactly.

    • J. Dean

      June 10, 2009 at 7:35 pm

      My thought exactly

    • Kitten V

      June 10, 2009 at 8:11 pm

      Thais abhor abortion? I guess they spit out anything from their vaginas.

      Haha, seriously, I like Thai people. Just f*cking around. But I really didn’t realize Thais hated abortion.

  5. daughterofbob

    June 9, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    The difference between ETHICALLY publishing photos of “dead, dying, bloody, squashed, slashed, decap[itat]ed, burnt, people” in a newspaper and printing photos of Carradine’s dead body is that generally, the former images are shown to make a true statement about a situation that might not be adequately described in words. For example, the image of Napalm Girl in the Vietnam War was not the top editorial choice because it portrays child nudity, but newspapers chose to run the photo because the news and events it relayed was absolutely necessary for its readership to see. The ethical dilemma was taken into consideration, but the need for the world to know the truth overrode the danger of a controversial image.

    However, in most cases, photos of dead celebrities, crime scenes, and whatnot are generally not essential pieces of information that the public MUST know. Instead, it is merely invading the privacy of the decedent and his family. In this case, the world’s need to know about the crime scene does not override Carradine’s right to privacy. Especially since he was in private quarters when his death occurred.

    I have a feeling that the Thai paper ran the photo in a tabloid spirit–the spectacle amasses interest, and more people will purchase the paper.
    Asian newspapers have an unfortunate propensity to lean towards a tabloid style in their reporting. Last year, during the Edison Chen scandal, Chen’s image, along with scandal photos, were pasted on the front covers of several Hong Kong and China papers for nearly a month. As if there is no other front-page-worthy news in their nations/world.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, it would technically be wrong to institute official laws that would disallow Thai media from publishing such images. The problem would be in the rhetoric, the language. How could they write such legislature? Where would the lines be drawn? Who will decide what?

    What might ultimately need to change is the mindset and attitude of the editors who decide whether to run such photographs. I personally think that it was a very poor, shortsighted decision on the part of the newspaper editors to exploit Carradine’s situation in order to turn a profit. Photos of his death would not contribute much factually to an equally informative text article about the circumstances of Carradine’s death.

    Newspapers have a responsibility to wisely decide what they will publish and what they will omit. It’s not an issue of censorship, but the process of editorial decision-making that determines whether or not readers will benefit from news content.

  6. Nikkou

    June 10, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Karma may have finally come full circle in poor Carradine’s life. The photo is painful, but also like some have already commented, the man (who i might add played a large role in “yellow face” phenomenon in American pop-culture where no Asian Americans are casted for Asian characters instead offensive make-upped white people play them often with bad accents) brings the dark reality of sex tourism on Thailand and the inversion of its inherent display of power, in this situation where the white man is the victim of the Easterner’s aggression and malice. Exploitation of Women sexually is very real in Thailand and its men like Carradine and millions of others from the developed world (including Japanese) who are spending and supporting their exploitation and oppression.

  7. leebingding

    June 10, 2009 at 4:38 am

    I’m half Filipino and half European myself and while my beliefs are far from any Thai norm, I empathise with cock headed, one eyed approaches toward aspects of other cultures. I don’t like being perceived as the offspring of a “mail order bride and a dirty old man” (which is certainly not the case) as I’m sure many Westerners don’t like being perceived as militant bombers.

    I see both sides, but a newspaper from a particular culture isn’t necessarily going to conform to another culture’s standards. Yes, it is insensitive in the Western world but it could be just news to another part of the world. Human dignity according to different people is, well, different.

    Normality varies. Greatly.

    Again I see both Wadowad and horiwood’s sides, but I get Wadowad and the whole “get over it” thing. It was done and you can’t change a culture’s ethics.

    The End.

  8. woodythai

    June 10, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Wad’s points are perfect in this conversation. I’m currently living in Thailand, and in Bangkok, and these ‘ping pong’ shows are not a ‘normal’ thing in Thailand, or even in Bangkok. They’re hear because westerners want and do pay to see them. They’re not a national pastime and they’re certainly not on ‘main streets’ in Thailand.

    Please come to Thailand, spend some time here away from the western tourism pits and get to know the Thais, who are very sensitive and utterly respectful (to each other and foreigners).

    As I responded earlier, death and dying are not as catastrophic here because of their cultural and religious beliefs. Therefore, the printing of materials relating to death and dying are simply a natural part of everyday life, and are not done with malice or insensitivity. Those who are offended are so because they simply don’t understand that. If they did understand, or were even interested in trying to understand, would see if differently.

  9. nicolasamstutz

    June 10, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Wow thats horrible

  10. Body Kits 4 Chicks

    June 10, 2009 at 7:48 am

    It’s not the best thing to do and if it happened to me, I probably wouldn’t be impressed either, but customs are different in other countries.

  11. Jade

    June 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Oh! come on people leave Thailand alone. I mean, we illegalize drugs, under age prostitution and killing in many countries if we try to do the same thing to Thailand we have nothing left. Thailand is an escape place from all the society rules, human dignity, prides and so on. Haven’t you heard/saw the equation, “Thai=drugs, under age prostitution and guns”.
    Keep Thailand scary and dangerouse.

    Go Thailand!

  12. risingangel

    June 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    What’s the difference between that and photos of…say…the holocaust?
    The Oklahoma Bombing? 9/11….people falling to their deaths on video….
    I would like to say it’s all a matter of perspective – but that is just MY perspective.

  13. studenttx

    June 10, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    It’s poetic. He died the way he lived.

  14. CogitoErgoCogitoSum

    June 10, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I take it then that you know nothing of Thai culture? Spend a weekend there. The place is morally corrupt and perverted beyond all belief. From prostitution, to street performers, to street performers of sexual activities, highest transsexualism rate in the world, etc, etc, etc. Its this sort of crap that most Americans chose to go there in the first place. No surprise.

  15. Javier Eduardo

    June 10, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Many things happen and are there to be seen. There have always been papers showing bloody scenes, dead bodies and the like. People not wanting to see those things can not wish to censor that, simply point your eyes somewhere else. People liking Thailand for the trannies, for the exotic food or other things, are free to choose going there if they want. The Sun can not be hidden behind a finger. There are ways of living that are free to exist. And David chose to go to Thailand to be as kinky as he wanted. Good martial artis, but he also chosed his kinky joys and that can not be hidden. The family can not deny the nature of the man. Anyone can remember him for what is best for every one. Who prefers to think that some one is what he/she is not? I like to have my line and my joint and my tranny-a-week so what? This is me, why tring to pretend I’m another person? Whomever likes me fine, whomever doesn’t fine too. For that reason we are all colors, all languages, traditions, etc. If pingpong balls are used to be shot from thai vaginas, the ping pong can not be banned. Not that I like this or that. I have my dislikes and likes, but everyone has his/her corresponding ones. I personally don’t like tatoos of anykind, but I can not tell a good worker of mine to leave the job because of my dislike about tatoos (for example). thanks for the topic anyway.

  16. rinjichan

    June 10, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    As a journalist, I have to say the only thing that bothers me personally is that they didn’t get permission from his family to print the photo. I think every family should have a right to act on the interests of their deceased. I’ve never been to Thailand so I cannot say what the average paper looks like there or what cultural norms are regarding the dead. If it is similar to other countries, then I think families have a right to privacy. I think this should be a matter of respect, not necessarily a government issue.

    Wadowad, as a Thai citizen, could you explain to me if I’m entirely off in how the dead are treated in Thai culture or what the norms are?

  17. thepenks

    June 11, 2009 at 4:57 am

    so, bill is truly dead.. but this time not by uma thurman, is suicide…

  18. deancasino

    June 11, 2009 at 6:21 am

    the thai media? how about media in general. A whole industry of scumbags.

  19. david fan of apuestas deportivas

    June 11, 2009 at 7:02 am

    very interesting!!

  20. Raymond

    June 11, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Well I think that there is a need to draw the line somewhere. Dave, as much as he might obviously have had an unusual sex life, at the end of the day he is still human and should be accorded the respect that every other human being deserves. I think that we should balance between selling news and according others their respect and dignity.

  21. gadgetboi

    June 11, 2009 at 7:52 am

    shocking isn’t it? I used to watch his tv show when I was a kid. who knows he ended his live tragically….

  22. kristincaynor

    June 11, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Almost any murder or death could be shown in a Thai paper. In Thailand many times the family and friends of people will find out about their loved one through the news, and Thais see no problem with this. If you ask a Thai about it we’ll say, “But how would everybody know what really happened and how would the family be informed?” No one in Thailand sees a problem with this. It’s only westerners who are unfamiliar with our culture and mindset that believe we are being insensitive.

    For us, showing pictures of these things is comprehensive journalism, not insensitivity. It’s just as natural to include a picture as it is to include the date and place.

  23. Jade

    June 11, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    For God Sake! We can’t all like vanilla ice-cream. If the market demand for a different flavors who wouldn’t want to take the opportunity. Apparently, there are people out there like Thailand just the way it is ;-)

  24. yeahright

    June 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    why do we wanna see dead people anyway?

  25. brandonrandon

    June 11, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Although I do not condone or agree with the Thai Media’s decision to post those photos, I find it reassuring that the Thai media has the freedom of the press to do so. ANy law that would infringe on this freedom is a bad law because the law would inevitably be used in a political way. I think a better way to handle this situation would be for the family to sue the Thai Police department and or Hotel for violating the privacy of Mr. Caradine.

    If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. ~Noam Chomsky

  26. LordPOM

    June 12, 2009 at 4:38 am

    I’m Thai guy , and i’m very sorry about what newspapers done.
    Thai peoples are very boring about our newpapers and media for long time.
    They only want to present the violent or cruel news for get interested.
    Sure that, they didn’t care about dignity of respect to person in news.

    And the very bad thing of it, the government always do nothing about it .

    I’m very sorry about his family, he’s alway a great actor for me.

  27. Promo Codes Online

    June 12, 2009 at 4:42 am

    What has this world come to that a picture of a dead man would be taken first place, and that there is such morbid curioufsity to see them. It’s a shame that he wasn’t given the dignity he deservecd

  28. Danny

    June 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Just a nit-pick matter … the Thai’s publishing of the photo doesn’t “beg the question,” which is a logical fallacy; rather, their action “raises the question.”

  29. Barbara

    June 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    What about the dignity of dead soldiers? There are thousands of photos being published of dead soldiers WITHOUT anyone’s permission! What about that? Is that not insensitive too – towards the families of all these dead soldiers and their grief? Put the word “dead soldiers” or “pictures of dead soldiers in newspapers” into google and go on images – u will see thousands of pictures of dead nameless bodies. And the facts that they are not famous doesnt make it less shameless.

    It’s not only the Thais – it’s the media apparatus all over the world!

  30. Eye

    June 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I mean really though? America isn’t any different…nor most media for that matter. I think it’s a societal thing…

  31. wellcraftedtoo

    June 12, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    I find it odd that so many of the comments address the pornography and sex trades of Thailand as if these things do not happen all over the globe, in every country and city. How many of the commenters who portray Thailand as flooded with sex trade really know what the situation is in their own community, town, or city? Few I suspect. Pornography and prostitution are ubiquitous. That doesn’t make these activities ‘right’ or non-problematic, but let’s get real here. Prostitution, pornography, and other sex trades flourish when opportunities for women and girls in other economic arenas are low, and when demand is high. The phenomenon is based in gender and economic inequality.

  32. sc00

    June 14, 2009 at 3:11 am

    i see he smile…

  33. pattayabridge

    June 14, 2009 at 3:40 am

    This is nothing out of the ordinary and very common in Thailand – it is simply part of Thai culture and no offence is meant. If you look at any Thai language newspaper there are always gory bloody pictures of dead people in colour – mostly traffic acicdents but often other deaths. This is just the way that Thailand is.

  34. mothercroc

    June 14, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I think the family is making too much of a big deal about it.

    Thai people are buddists and they habe a laid back attitude towards death. They obviously thought highly of him or they wouldn’t have mentioned his death in the media.

  35. jewelrybling

    June 14, 2009 at 8:54 am

    i loved that movie.. especially the first part..
    the animation part did it for me

  36. jordancfan

    June 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    farewell grasshopper!

  37. morealtitude

    June 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    A friend of mind took his own life in a Bangkok hotel room nine months ago. Photos were taken of the body and ended up being circulated by email. This was highly distressing to the people who loved him.

    The issue of death and violence being protrayed in visual media is not unique to Thailand but is found in many parts of the world to a greater extent than is generally found in Europe and North America. Watching the Arabic version of Al-Jazeera (an excellent news service) and many other news programs in countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia will present images that can be shocking to people used to the more sedate visuals of BBC and CNN.

    The issue with the photos of Mr. Caradine’s death, and of that of my friend, is that unlike media events which happen in the public domain, these were events that took place in a private space. Both scenes should have been locked down by hotel staff or police until the bodies had been retrieved by those responsible, and not dishonoured by being turned into a media circus by sensation-seeking photographers. Again the culture of bribery is not one unique to Thailand by any stretch of the imagination. However the fact that the people responsible for the discretion of these sites- be they police or hotel staff- allowed people to come in and take photographs only added to the pain of the families left behind, and I agree with the premise of this blog that this sort of activity should be discouraged. There is a common courtesy to the grieving that transcends cultures.

  38. williamhill

    June 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    celebrities – america’s royalties.

  39. wllmhll

    June 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    celebrities – america’s royalties.

  40. fkdupdad

    June 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm

  41. gunseditor

    June 14, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Please read my WordPress blog


  42. souvenirsandscars

    June 15, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I was watching the news yesterday – Global TV in Canada – regarding the increasing problem of drug cartel in Mexico. Countless dead bodies shown – some execution style: crucification, hangings, beheadings, etc. Clips of grieving families.

    Kind of begs the question: did the Canadian journalists seek permission from the families of those who were killed in Mexico before broadcasting their photos?

    I highly doubt it.

    This is *not* an isolated case. This happens countless times, and no one speaks of it or the families grief, or the broadcasting networks insensitivity. As a Canadian I tend to believe all human life is equal. If anyone has a problem with showing people’s corpses it should apply to all situations, and not just an American celebrity who died in Thailand. Or else it becomes a double standard, don’t you think? This is not a Thai problem. It’s a global media problem.

  43. texan

    June 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I have absolutely loved David Carradine forever, it seems. He’s always been a little kinky, like when he married Barbara Hershey and did those things, but he knew his kung fu and he was a great actor in everything he was portrayed in. Rest in peace, David.

  44. sausage links

    February 1, 2010 at 4:15 am

    i feel more than obliged to refund rather than refind the way you remind of me to recline what you and i refine

  45. EMo

    May 10, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Carradine’s ex has written a book about his death. I think it will look at his bizarre death and all the implications therein.


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