Kickboxing actor Tony Jaa has been the subject of a social media backlash because of his response to the death of his mentor Pannat Rittikrai.
His mentor passed on July 20, 2014 while he was filming the movie "Fast & the Furious 7". Some people became angry when the kickboxing star did not return to Thailand to attend the funeral of his mentor and pay his final respects.
The complaints about his not returning to Thailand were answered by many of his fans who argued that it was not feasible for the actor to fly back due to his work obligations. However, the actor then was taken to task by the condolence message that he posted on his Facebook page as some claim that he did not even write the message and that it was reminiscent of a farewell to a co-worker and not to someone whom had a profound impact on one's career.
His critics attacked him for allegedly not sending a wreath for the funeral or money. The anger toward Tony Jaa was not voiced at the funeral but it did result in massive attacks toward him on his Facebook page which became so intense that the administrator for his social media page had to ask for a stop to the hostility in the time of sorrow.
His response has been very interesting as he did not block any of the negative comments nor did he threaten to do so. Instead he has continued with his work as he two other films in post-production, "A Man Will Rise" and "Warrior King 2", a third film, "SPL2: Rise of Wong Po" in pre-production and he is rumoured to be part of a fourth film "The Raid 3".
No one knows how Tony Jaa plans to address this situation in the future but for the present it seems as if the actor is focused on his career and not in engaging in social media battles and considering the good reviews that are coming from the film set about his performance maybe that is the best way he can honour his mentor.