Billy Lau Talks About Sexual Harassment in the Entertainment Industry
ViuTv’s drama #Metoo <假設性無罪> shares the same name as the social movement that aims to bring awareness to the fight against sexual harassment and assault. In the drama, Billy Lau (樓南光) plays a lecherous boss who finds any excuse to touch his employee Venus Wong (王敏奕). He commends the drama for its daring theme and how it brings forth a topic that often happens in society. Having acted for over 40 years, Billy has witnessed sexual harassment in the industry and shares his insight on the matter.
At the age of 65, Billy admits that there are unspoken conducts in the entertainment industry and have heard about them. “There is a lot of competition in Mainland China. Artistes are very respectful to producers and would go an extra mile just to pour tea for them. I know of some Mainland producers’ friends who are starting a drama and a lot of the artistes’ ‘mom’ would come to give gifts. Sometimes, they ‘accidentally’ give away their daughter. I don’t go to bars so I haven’t personally experienced this.”
Accused of Being a Pervert
Back when Billy was filming in for A Kindred Spirit (真情), Billy was embroiled in a scandal and took the blame of being a pervert. That year, an actress cried to the reporter that she was sexually harassed. As Billy had many scenes with the actress, many reporters quickly suspected him and Billy played along, “At that time, I ‘admitted’ and said I did it. The reporters didn’t believe me and told me to stop talking.”
Finally the actress announced the name of the harasser and cleared Billy’s name. Recalling the incident, Billy shared, “I’ve never been speechless before but I have a playful personality. I didn’t do it so I wasn’t scared.”
Billy believes that men and women have different views on sexual harassment. Recalling an incident, an actress complained to Billy that she was sexually harassed. However, when Billy told the actress that he had also once touched her shoulder, the actress replied, “How can it be the same? Sexual harassment is not based on the perpetrator’s perspective. It’s based on the victim’s feeling. At the time of contact, woman will feel the strength and magnitude of the contact. With her judgement, she will know if it is sexual harassment.”
Regrets Offending Co-Star in My Lucky Stars
Reflecting on the #MeToo movement, Billy regrets offending an actress in the Lucky Star <五福星> film franchise. “Unfortunately, back when we were filming, I didn’t realize that it was very offensive to females. As I got older, I know that talking about someone’s mother is offensive and I shouldn’t do something so outrageous. Back then, I would speak vulgarly with people that I don’t really know. Now I don’t even dare to talk like that. It is shameful.”
This article is written by Sammi for JayneStars.com.