Thursday, October 24, 2013


Astrid Chan tries to get Eric Tsang to stay
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Eric Tsang Chi Wai yesterday rushed back from the Mainland to Hong Kong and called for a press conference to announce to resign as the chair of the Hong Kong Performing Artist Guild. The post will now be the responsibility of the secretaries. Tsang Chi Wai from 2003-2007, 2009-2011 served as the chair. His current term would originally end at the end of the year. The Guild has around 500 members, most are actors.

Tsang Chi Wai said, "Lately I have been frequently asked why I haven't spoken up (about the television license issue), like the Guild that I represent. However all decisions must be passed through the committee. If what I myself say represents the Guild, it would be too much pressure to take. Thus I have decided to resign from the post of chairman. From now on the opinions that I will express will be personal."

He stressed that the resignation was due to the film industry joint protest statement, the Guild that he represented did not communicate properly with the Directors' Guild and in the end the Performing Artist Guild was unable to participate in the alliance. As for internet radio host Stephen Shiu Yeuk Yuen's claim that Tsang Chi Wai called the Hong Kong Federation of Filmmakers chair Ng See Yuen to decline participation due to "(Last Saturday's press conference) would encourage protest marches and bring Hong Kong into chaos", Tsang Chi Wai yesterday said that the claim was untrue.

When asked if he supported more competition in the television market, Tsang Chi Wai said that he sent artist Liu Kai Chi's interview via email to TVB, saying that now was a good opportunity for artists to speak from their hearts. "If every artist feels that the schedule and freedom of his or her current television station jobs have issues, it is worthy of industry considerations."

He also said, "From an artist standpoint, not just 3 licenses, more licenses would provide more people with more career opportunities, which of course would be good" because "with the one station monopoly before, artists have no choice. With competition, television stations in order to find even better actors would have to improve their standards; artists can choose even better and more suitable environment for themselves."

As for the Performing Artist Guild's statement being called too moderate since it only asked the government to explain the license issue result, Tsang Chi Wai said that it had to meet with the Guild's principles and not involve politics. He also said, "If we see colleagues who are remaining in the government HQ, everyone would be emotional."

The Performing Artist Guild secretary General Astrid Chan Chi Ching said that many elders in the Guild felt that the Guild should not be involved in politics and disagreed with the Hong Kong Directors Guild issued statement's initial draft that targeted the government for not issuing Hong Kong Television or Ricky Wong Wai Kay a license, thus it did not join the joint statement. In addition, the Hong Kong Film Arts Association yesterday issued a statement that claimed its declination to participate in the joint statement was a decision made from a vote from the entire committee body and denied that the Association was "Tsang Chi Wai's 'underling'."

The government announced last Tuesday that HKTV did not receive a television license. The Hong Kong Film Directors Guild along with the Hong Kong Screenwriters' Guild and Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers and other film industry organizations last Saturday held a press conference and issued a joint statement. That day the Performing Artist Guild and the Hong Kong Film Arts Association did not participate. On Monday (the 21st) the PAG twice issued statements and expressed that it "hoped the Hong Kong government would listen to public opinion and make explanation over individual incidents".

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