Obviously, I’m in another one of my ‘ranting’ moods again! I’ve been reading a lot of the stuff out there recently about former TVB artists joining CTI and not surprisingly, I got ticked off by some of the reports – hence I felt the urge to write this post.
Just as a means of background…a few days ago, Ricky Wong’s City Telecom (CTI) held a Groundbreaking Ceremony for its Television and Multi-media Production Center in Tseung Kwan O (for more information about this, refer to my earlier TVB Rant about the HK Television Wars). In attendance at the ceremony were artists (most of whom formerly worked for TVB) who will be joining CTI once the company obtains its free-to-air television license in the next two months (though technically, pretty much all of them have already signed contracts with CTI). The artists who attended the ceremony include: Maggie Cheung (張可頤), Felix Wong (黃日華), Frankie Lam (林文龍), Bernice Liu (廖碧兒), John Chiang (姜大衛), Yuen Wah (元華), Leila Tong (唐寧), Lisa Lui (呂有慧), Felix Lok (駱應鈞), Rain Lau (劉玉翠), Maria Chen (陳霽平), Prudence Liew (劉美君), Kelvin Kwan (關楚耀), Catherine Chow (周家怡), and Benji Chiang (姜文杰) [Catherine and Benji were the emcees for the event].
Note: The above listed artists aren’t the only former TVB artists joining CTI – there are a few others as well who will be joining but did not attend the ceremony (for example: Wilson Tsui, Yu Mo Lian, Feng So Bor, etc.)
Anyway, in the past few months, there have been literally ‘tons’ of reports out there surrounding CTI and its ‘recruitment’ of TVB artists. All this time, I’ve been pretty much treating these reports as I do with most HK entertainment news – read the information with a grain of salt, but don’t take too seriously. Well, unfortunately, some of the recent reports about CTI’s groundbreaking ceremony went a bit too overboard and in my opinion, really ‘crossed the line’ – to the point that I once again cannot help feeling disappointed with the HK Media.
The issue at hand: many of the recent 'reports' about the CTI groundbreaking ceremony used the term "traitors" to describe the artists who left TVB in favor of CTI. Personally, I have a problem with such irresponsible reporting and my only 'advice' to those reporters who keep using this term is for them to look up the word "traitor" in the dictionary and see what the hell it actually means before using it!!
As one of the artists joining CTI, Felix Wong is of course among those being called a ‘traitor’ by the Media. True to his ‘flame-shooting’ nickname, Felix decided to ‘speak out’ against the reports via his Weibo. Just today, he posted an excellent response on his Weibo with regard to these recent "reports" that I'm sure echoes the sentiments of many of us who have been long time supporters of the HK television industry (as well as the sentiments of those artists who have decided to follow a career path that is a better fit for their needs). His response was "re-tweeted" by many artists, who all expressed their support and encouragement...
Here's Felix's post (the original in Chinese as well as the translated version) from his Weibo:
Translation: After reading today’s news reports, I feel the need to speak out. Today’s HK television industry is truly in need of ‘new blood’ to join so as to bring about free expression of the arts – this is the only way to ‘shock’ the industry and push it to its peak! In this environment, not only will artists have more opportunities to bring out the best in themselves, but also gives them more space to develop. Through healthy competition, each of the TV stations can more fully develop their resources and strengths and ‘join forces’ to create a win-win situation. Here is wishing that the HK television industry will be able to once again reach the heights of its ‘glory days’! Let’s all work hard and encourage one another!
As a decades-long supporter of the HK entertainment industry, I absolutely agree with Felix because, in all honesty, it pains me to see how horribly the industry has deteriorated. Therefore, if healthy competition and change will bring about a much needed revival of the HK television industry to what it was at its peak, I am all for it!
In conclusion, here’s some ‘food for thought’ for those who keep referring to the artists joining CTI as “traitors” who should feel ashamed of themselves for “betraying” TVB:
It's unfair to say that these artists "betrayed" TVB, as artists are regular people just like everyone else -- they need to make a living and some even have family to support, so of course they are going to choose the path that fits them best. How is it wrong for an artist to go with the company that best fits their needs? Should they forever be indebted to TVB and never ever leave the company just because that company had a hand in launching their career, even if the company mistreats them and doesn't pay them enough to support their families? Should they sacrifice their families and their livelihoods just so that they won't be seen as 'betraying' a company that they've been loyal to for so long but no longer fits their needs? What about all the efforts that these artists put in for many years (in some cases, more than 20-30 years!) and all the money that THEY earned for the company – is that not supposed to count for anything?? Keep in mind that part of the reason why TVB has been able to stand so solidly as the #1 TV station in HK for the past 40+ years is precisely because of the EFFORTS of THESE ARTISTS – without them, TVB would be nothing!
So for you stupid reporters out there who don’t think twice about using the words “traitor” and “betrayal” to describe artists who are simply trying to do what’s best for their families and themselves – PLEASE DO YOUR HOMEWORK NEXT TIME BEFORE PUBLISHING THOSE (DESPICABLE) REPORTS OF YOURS!