Tuesday, April 27, 2010

“Artistes 414 Fundraising Campaign” – Some Thoughts….

Just finishing watching the re-broadcast of the "Artistes 414 Fundraising Campaign" yesterday and also reading the various news reports on the event. As a fellow "Hong Kong-er", I am very proud of the HK entertainment industry for coming together to help their "tong bao" in China -- not only that, but also working together with artists from other countries to raise money and for once not "fighting" over who does what or who performs first, etc. One of the hosts of the event, Lawrence Cheng, put it best: everyone came together regardless of company, regardless of status, for one purpose – helping the Qinghai earthquake victims.

The fundraising event was no easy feat to put together, as there was less than 1 week to prepare for it and not only did the organizers have to contact all the artists (320 artists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China), they also had to put together the rundown of the performances, who will be performing with who, which songs will they song, how long each performance can last due to time constraints, etc. etc. etc. Events of this nature (even ones on a much smaller scale with far fewer "big names") usually take weeks or even months of preparation, yet this one had to be done in only a few days....got to give credit to Eric Tsang, Gordon Chan, and Stephen Shum for being able to pull this off in such a short amount of time. In my opinion, the event was definitely a success, as they were able to raise over HKD$35 million for earthquake relief and also so many artists were able to unite efforts for a good cause.

The majority of the news reports that came out yesterday recapping the event were very positive, which is great, however there were also some "negative" reports about how there were alot of technical difficulties where the music didn't come on at the right time, microphones didn't work properly, the music was too loud at certain points, etc. etc. My reaction when I read these reports is: Who cares???? I mean, think about it -- organizing such a huge event with so many artists and having to gather all the equipment, cameras, etc. as well as having to find a venue that would accommodate everyone in such a short amount of time -- of course the event won't be "error-free"....that's expected! It's stupid for the HK reporters to take the focus away from relief efforts in order to make such a big deal out of these small non-issues and cause controversy by trying to make "mountains out of molehills"

It's sad that the "atmosphere" in society (especially in the entertainment world) is so "negative" where all HK reporters want to do is focus only on the things that "went wrong" or feed the "gossip" circles. Instead of focusing on the cause at hand, the reporters would focus more on things that were irrelevant or ask stupid questions to fan the rumor mills. No wonder so many people are disappointed in the HK media!

For example, when some of the TVB artists were interviewed, instead of focusing on what they were saying about encouraging people to donate, different ways people can help the cause, etc., the reporters were more concerned with who was standing / sitting next to who, who did or didn't gesture to who, etc. ("omg, Charmaine is sitting next to Kevin -- oh, they even shared the same chair, oh, the rumors about them must be true...oh wait, they both went the opposite direction right after the interview -- must be trying to 'avoid' each other").....or ("oh, Bernice looked sad during that interview -- she must be bitter at seeing Charmaine and thinking about her breakup with Moses")....GIVE ME A BREAK! I mean, the event is about earthquake relief and encouraging people to help out / donate money, NOT about who is rumored to be a couple with whom! Who really cares at that point in time? If the reporters want to talk about that kind of stuff, then do it at a more appropriate time, not when everyone is trying to bring awareness to earthquake relief! TALK ABOUT BEING DISRESPECTFUL!!!

The other instance that annoys me is when reporters try to "stir the pot" by asking contentious questions just so that they can "make a big deal" out of it (and possibly sell more papers). For example, when Jacky Cheung, Harlem Yu, Hacken Lee, and Sun Nan were being interviewed backstage, one of the reporters started asking about how much money each of them donated and what they thought about the situations that happened with the Sichuan earthquake fundraising 2 years ago when some organizations / people tried to cheat others out of their money by asking for false donations. Jacky got a bit upset over this because he felt that the focus of the reporters was wrong -- his response was: "The amount of money donated individually does not matter! In fact, since you [the reporters] are able to uncover information about artists' marriages, you can surely go investigate how much money was donated by each person if you want -- there is no way to lie about this kind of stuff!" Hacken also added: "Comparing how much money artists donated individually is very unfair -- would you go ask someone in the street how much they donated to charity? The important thing is donating from the heart, not the amount."* Very well stated by both Jacky and Hacken! And I so totally agree! I actually love Jacky's response because it is so true (and stated in such a polite yet clever way) – I mean, if you reporters have the ability to dig up the artists' marriage licenses and display them to the public, then you surely would be able to "dig up" the records of who donated what amount to charity! So why even ask the artists how much they donated? The fact that they are helping with earthquake relief is enough -- it's the thought that counts, not how much they donated!

It's just sad that the focus of the reporters would be on "which artist donated how much money in comparisons to another artist and why" rather than on the collective relief efforts of the entertainment industry as a whole. With these types of questions, it tells us that society (more specifically the media) as a whole is "unhealthy" -- not in terms of physical health, but rather in terms of "atmosphere" and "positivity" because all they can think about is the "negative, petty" stuff.....so stupid....

*Source of quotes: Oriental Daily news


  1. Sorry for lagging but I finally finished reading.

    I so agree with you on the points mentioned - like the in past. Honestly, the focus of the reports are all wrong. It's like who cares about those gossip stuffs when they should be asking about the victims who the artists were helping.

    I wonder how those reporters reacted to Jacky and Hacken's response. Possibly trying to dig some stuffs up to write about them so they could get back at the two? Considering how petty and senseless those reporters are.

    Regarding those rumors with who and who is with who, etc - TOTALLY SENSELESS, especially at the event like this. Honestly, do they have the least respect for those victims who had lost so much?

    And you're right (again) with technical difficulties. I already feel overwhelmed when I was trying to imagine how they could pull it off with such a short span of time. BUT they weren't given the proper credit YET reporters kept prying into what went wrong.

  2. Yea...that was pretty much the part that got me going -- the "insensitivity" of the reporters. I mean, there is a time and place for everything -- they can surely wait until the appropriate time to focus on senseless "rumors"....

    Regarding Jacky and Hacken -- I doubt that the reporters will do anything (they aren't TVB after all...lol) because in general, the media likes these 2, especially Jacky. Plus he has built a good enough relationship with the media these past 20+ years that they probably won't think too much of it. They will probably just find other news to report on and move on.

    I am definitely awed at the great job that the organizers did, especially in the short amount of time. Those who are trying to make a big deal of the "technical difficulties" just have nothing better to do -- so I'm pretty much ignoring their "observations", since they are so irrelevant given the situation.