“Actors are like products we buy; we can do anything we want with them.” – Call It What You Want
Call It What You Want, the first-ever BL co-production series between Taiwan and Thailand is set to premiere exclusively on Asia’s leading global LGTBQ+ streaming platform, GagaOOLala on Friday 9th, April 2021. Directed by the Thai BL filmmaker Aam Anusorn Soisa-ngim, Call It What You Want marks GagaOOLala’s first original Thai BL series with a six-episode series featuring a cast of both Thai and Taiwanese actors.
The series is based on three separate storylines, the first of which follows BL director James (Time Dhamawat Suntanaphan) and his clandestine romance with Ait (Benz Panupun Vongjorn), the lead actor of his new series. Alongside Ait sits his fellow co-star, Bas (Michael Kiettisak Vatanavitsakul) struggling to adapt to harsh and hidden practices of the BL industry (strict diets, rigorous fitness regimes, cosmetic surgeries, and worst of all, sexual harassment by those in command). Finally, there is Marco (Daniel Cheng), James’ Taiwanese friend, who although heartbroken upon knowing about James and Ait, eventually finds solace in Bas.
Call It What You Want is Aam Anusorn Soisa-ngim’s latest offering in the Thai BL genre after a series of impressive titles such as Present Perfect (2017), 2 Moons 2 (2019), and most recently, Present Still Perfect (2020), one of the most recognized Asian LGBTQ+ titles of that year. The series features an extended cast of four new and upcoming Thai actors, Benz Panupun Vongjorn, Kaprao Pongkorn Wongkrittiyarat (2 Moons 2, TharnType), Michael Kiettisak Vatanavitsakul (Love Sick 2, Oxygen), and Time Dhamawat Suntanaphan (Present Still Perfect) and Taiwanese model and actor, Daniel Chang.
Call It What You Want draws direct inspiration from director Soisa-ngim’s past experiences of the BL industry in Thailand where one of the actors he worked with directly confessed to him about having been sexually abused on set. In this light, the series makes a bold attempt to tackle the taboo topics and the troubling occurrences of the behind-the-scenes, male-on-male sexual harassment, homophobia, and the abuse and control of actors and talents within the BL showbiz in Thailand.
The BL series is the first installment in GagaOOLala’s “Queer Up The Volume” Project, an anthology of original queer love stories, each with its own title song and music video, aiming to portray different facets of queer life and its issues in 2021.
Last March, GagaOOLala together with director Aam Anusorn Soisa-ngim released a statement condemning the toxic behind-the-camera culture of abuse and advocated for the need of promoting gay, BL, and queer stories that assured the fair and just treatment of actors and talents alike. For Call It What You Want, GagaOOLala, thus, coined the term “#SafeBL” to underscore a movement that it hopes its BL fans will support to ensure that behind the fantasy-making, all of the actors and talents in the industry are working in an environment in which they feel safe and protected.
The first two episodes of Call It What You Want will be available for free on 9 April 2021 on GagaOOLala, with a new episode every week. The first episode won’t require a subscription and it will be available for free.