Power Chan Publishes Open Letter to TVB: Will Not Renew Contract
Power Chan (陳國邦) announced that he will not be renewing his contract with TVB. The 47-year-old, who has been filming TVB dramas since 1989, published the announcement on his official Weibo on Friday with the words: “An Open Letter to TVB.”
Power said, “The first time I left TVB was in 1993. I was young and was in the company for only four years. I didn’t leave behind many feelings then, but this time it’s different. From my return till now, it has been 15 years. I’ve established friendships. I want to thank him, him and him, for always supporting me. I like them, for always creating joyous and challenging atmospheres during filming. As for the rookie actors, I am honored to be able to share my knowledge and experiences with them.”
The actor did not accuse or denounce anyone for pushing him to make this decision to leave TVB; in fact, Power expressed nothing else but gratitude towards his former employer. Power revealed that he originally planned on renewing his TVB contract, despite the fact that the details of his new contract did not offer him anything new in particular. However, the actor had time to reflect on his career while he was on tour for his play Tuesdays with Morrie, and realized that it is time for him to find new opportunities.
Power outrightly admitted in his letter that his decision to end his 15-year relationship with the station was because of the lack of opportunities. He said, “I’ve always been hoping that, with my abilities and worth, I’ll be able to have the opportunity to be a lead actor, and while I did receive many praises, my opportunities dwindled.”
The actor confessed his dark secrets, admitting that he once felt so upset about his career that he blamed others for taking the opportunities away from him. He also blamed himself for not doing as well as he should.
However, a line in the play enlightened him. Power said, “The teacher told his student: ‘Forgive others first before forgiving yourself. You always tell yourself that you’re not tall enough, not handsome enough, not capable enough to earn money like others. You are torturing yourself like this. Forgive everybody else before forgiving yourself.’ This is acting. One must use your own life to create a character, and then use that character’s experiences to change yourself.”
Power apologized to his friends and colleagues for leaving without notice, adding that he only did so because he did not want to be talked into staying. Power said he refused to be stagnant water and wants to be full of life.
He ended the letter with a powerfully hopeful and uplifting note: “Where will I go after leaving TVB? My wife does not know. My daughter does not know. My friends do not know. Even I do not know. But as long as there is a place that needs me, I will be there. I am, Chan Kwok Pong.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
Good on Power Chan for taking such huge step and leaving TVB. There is definitely life outside of TVB and better opportunities! So many great actors and actresses has left TVB in the past many years and its obvious that there is just not enough opportunity for them.
He is amazing and such a great actor. I will miss seeing him on the small screen @ TVB, but we all know he deserves better opportunities. His talent has made it so. Whatever he does in the future, I bet it will be fantastic and TVB will truly kick itself over a thousand times for not keeping him. Best of luck to him and his family.
Agree that Power is a decent actor. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the looks or charisma to carry a drama as male lead . Perhaps that is why he has never been given the opportunity. Talent is not enough to get you ahead of others in showbiz . That is a cruel fact.
@isay Lau Ching Wan? He’s been criticized for his looks every since TVB and to be honest, he is never labeled as handsome until now. But his talent brought him through to become a top movie star.
@renn That is true. But not everyone has such good luck.
@renn Power doesn’t have the range of acting, charisma, and height that Lau Ching Wan possess, hence why he is a top movie star and Power Chan will never be. I’m not saying that he won’t find greener pastures, but he will never be in the same league as others.
so selfish of this guy,while he doesnt even have any new profession at the moment,he terminate his contract with tvb? think about your wife and children that you have to feed. if you was single then you are free to chase your dreams but not as a father and husband,you should know that.
he is a good supporting actor but not a leading man. lack of charisma and not even handsome and tall,how is it possible that he think that he could ever be leading man?
Maybe he does have plans that we do not know about? If all else fails,he can always come back to TVB. Also,it is no longer the old days anymore where the guy has to be the breadwinner because in many cases these days,it is the woman who is the breadwinner.
@hetieshou “Where will I go after leaving TVB? My wife does not know. My daughter does not know. My friends do not know. Even I do not know.”
of course i dont think he wouldnt coming to starve in the end,however with his age and having a family he shouldnt want to be a dreamer anymore.its just irresponsible and dangerous what he did.
You shouldn’t take everything he says at face value and learn to read between the lines.
@anon you may be right,it could also be his plan to get a better contract,now tvb management knows what to do if they want to retain him,just give him a lead role in grand aniversary productions and pair powerful chan with grace chan,good idea isnt it? if tony hung can power definitely can.
@kolo Staying at TVB when they wouldn’t consider promoting him is even more dangerous. How many years can Power Chan live on TVB’s pay? That’s putting even more pressure on Mimi and their daughter. While he’s still able to travel and act, he should venture out and find new opportunities.
@minyveg you maybe right, he is almost in his 50,how many ten years does a men have? he may finds his dream outside tvb and become lead actor somewhere in mainland china or in a powerhouse movie and co-leading with andy lau,louis ko and fat gor after more than 2 decades as supporting actor in tvb.
Very sad to hear Power Chan is leaving. He amazing actor. His acting quality the same as Wayne Lai. Look Wayne is not a great looking it up to TVB he succeed. Bottomline up to TVB to determine.
If TVB wants to retain great acting skill pls retain those peoples who could act. Not peoples like Grace Chan, Linda Chung…
Power Chan you are great actor….no doubt about it.
Wayne took over 20 years to get noticed. I think this goes for all actors and actresses,you just need good timing,luck,connections and a good breakthrough role in order to get noticed. During Wayne’s time,there were less options but these days there are more opportunities outside of TVB. Therefore, it is good for Power to venture out and try out new things. If it does not work out,he can always come back to TVB.
TVB focuses too much on the newbies and not enough on the ‘oldies’. Yes the new generation of actors and actresses have potential and talent, but it’s so unfair and sad to see decent actors/actresses lose out on career lifting opportunities when they’ve been grafting at the station for many many years. These newbies have years on them to perfect their craft before coming leading ladies and men, they don’t need to be rushed to be in those roles. TVB should let the experienced, who knows what they’re doing, be in those leading roles to show and inspire the newbies, it not only benefits the reviews of the dramas but the station as well.
You should watch HKTV drama’s then cause they’re doing exactly what you’re saying.
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LOL! No mercy!
Another veteran is leaving. It’s sad.
I hope HKTV take them all in (all the veterans) and continue to make good dramas.
I notice that a lot of TVB’s good actors/actresses started out from ATV back in the day. It might be too long ago people don’t even remember. And they contributed to TVB’s golden time like in the 90. Now everybody’s gone and some appeared in HKTV. And TVB is going downhill without its experienced veterans. Isn’t that funny? Or karma? I love me some good old TVB 90’s dramas. I’ll never be a fan of this new generation of the Anthony Hung (?), Grace Chan, Sisley Choi…So long TVB.
@kaykay408 No, HKTV is not going to take Power in because unfortunately, HKTV technically no longer exists as a TV station. They’ve stopped making TV series (Ricky Wong has already announced that they won’t be making any more TV series unless they get a license) and are already pursuing other avenues of production such as movies, micro-films, and of course, their HKTV mall. All the HKTV production staff have disbanded already, some of the artists as well as behind-the-scenes people (scriptwriters, producers, directors) have returned to TVB, others are freelance and can work for whomever they want, and still others have decided to pursue other opportunities/careers. It’s definitely a pity though, since HKTV has done wonders for many lesser known artists who had filmed series for them (i.e. Catherine Chau, Gregory Wong, Kate Yeung, etc.) – if Power had jumped ship earlier, he might have gotten the opportunity to be a lead over there.
With all that said though, Power doesn’t have to worry, as he has the acting skill as well as talent, plus he’s got theater background and he’s filmed in both Taiwan and Mainland China before….also there ARE other TV stations aside from TVB in HK (even if HKTV is no longer an option, there’s also NowTV) so there are plenty of avenues for him to explore.
@llwy12 Oooo, it would’ve been interesting to see Power in either Lams’ role in Night Shift. Dominic did a wonderful job but I believe Power would’ve done it justice too. And IMO, Power is more interesting actor than Frankie.
@jjwong Definitely Frankie’s role, as Dominic is too great of an actor and absolutely irreplaceable in my book. Frankie is more hit and miss – his role in Night Shift obviously didn’t suit him that well, as his performance in there was largely lackluster (compared to Hidden Faces, where he did very well). The other HKTV series I think Power would’ve done well in would be The Borderline, taking over Lawrence Chou’s role (though the pairing would probably have to be different, since Joman Chiang might be a bit too young for him..but then again, with Power’s baby face, it might still work) – oh and to get the chance to match acting chops with 2 great actors, Liu Kai Chi and Dominic Lam….that would’ve been a dream team for sure! All wishful thinking of course, since we all know it’s definitely not going to happen now that HKTV is over and done with….
@llwy12 I don’t doubt that Power wouldn’t outshine Dominic in any role but would’ve been interesting to see Power’s interpretation. Frankie is like Tom Cruise (I’m not compaeing their star power or say they’re same genre). I’m saying their acting is limited to one type of character. Tom only does well as action big wig while Frankie is “moc toc.” I thought about The Borderline but didn’t say it because Power is too mature and old for Lawrence’s role.
I don’t understand why people are criticizing Power for leaving TVB. Sure, he stated that he doesn’t know where he’s going to go or what he’s going to do, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t thought things through and won’t be able to provide for his family financially now. Someone mentioned how it took Wayne Lai 20 years to get the recognition he deserved from TVB – well, don’t forget that he had also left TVB at one point to experiment outside and then returned years later. Probably because of this experience, Wayne said it best when asked by reporters to comment on Power leaving: it’s something that all artists will go through at some point, it’s just a matter of how they utilize that time outside to enrich themselves. Wayne said that he wasn’t as lucky because back when he left, there were fewer opportunities outside, but nowadays, it’s different – there are plenty of opportunities outside in both television and movies, plus Power has the advantage of his theater background (he’s a graduate of the HKAPA) and has achieved quite a bit of success there in recent years.
@llwy12 because he has to rely on his wife who is the breadwinner now,she will have a tough life from now on because his husband has some dreams to chase,which i think is too naive with his age. now he will have to start all over again, instead of having a golden ricebowl from tvb as green leaf that provides him security till his retirement.of course he will find something again in time,but im afraid that he will never find his dream as a lead actor, you are right that there are opportunities outside but are the opportunities also for him? the competition as lead are fierce outside,if you talking about looks there are plenty of actors that have better looks than him,if you talking about acting,yes he is good but he is not the only one,and not talking about charisma,his length and his age,his whole package fits more for a supporting than a lead,maybe he can be lead in the theater but is this what he really want,or is it a escape from the reality? you said he has thought things through but i say he place his heart above his mind,nevertheless i wish him good luck and hopefully will find his dream one day.
@kolo I’m actually not sure why you are so insistent that Mimi is the breadwinner and Power is being selfish. Um, Mimi actually doesn’t work full-time – her main job is to take care of their daughter and occasionally performs when it fits her schedule. Also, what makes you think that Power leaving TVB means that he has no income and can’t support his family? Is TVB the only job in HK that pays money?
Also, you’re basically assuming that Power will have to “start from scratch” now that he left TVB, which actually is not true, as it’s not like he is a newbie in the industry. With more than 25 years of acting experience, plus background in television, movies, and theater as well as filming experience in HK, Taiwan, and Mainland China, I don’t get how any of that is a “disadvantage” for him – in fact, that’s quite an impressive resume if you ask me. True, Power might never get to become lead, but if that’s his fate, then so be it – besides, he never said that he is “giving up everything he has in order to pursue lead role” – he mentioned that not getting to become lead was one of the reasons why he decided to leave, but that’s not the only reason. If you read his letter, the sentiment is that he wants to try other things and enrich himself rather than remain stagnant at TVB, which doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to pursue a lead role at all costs. Sure, continuing to work at TVB is a ‘golden rice bowl’, but for people like Power and others who are truly passionate about acting and therefore have high standards and see acting as a craft rather than just ‘any other job’, what’s wrong with wanting to further develop his craft and further enrich himself, especially if he has the means to do it?
Exactly, she’s not popular either but we don’t see her in every series, doesn’t mean anything when one wants to quit and start from scratch as well. I often say if you don’t try how will you ever know?? Yes, he’s not young anymore but it’s not like he will starve even if doing minor roles in the mainland if he’s being invited. He probably have some savings and thought of using it for while he searched for something new. He might not be rich but doubt anyone will starve if they are willing to take a JOB that has a bit income and not totally sitting their azzz at home. Think positive!!! Perhaps he will get lucky like Wayne Lai, can you say he’s much better looking? NO, to me WL was just lucky he got into a role when he’s being just an actor for so many many years. Perhaps this one will get just as lucky somewhere else. IF that Krystal Tin’s hubby can get lucky like that after ATV, anyone can. LOL…I mean come on…who would have thought that guy got rich and famous?????? Again, think positive and wish him luck.
@kiki Yup, very true! None of us know the Chan family’s true financial situation, so what basis do we have to judge Power as “selfish” or that he made a bad decision to leave TVB? How do we know that he doesn’t have a large amount of money saved up somewhere or has other sources of income on the side (by the way, most TVB artists do have other sources of income, as TVB’s salary is so low that there is actually no way for the artists to survive relying solely on what TVB pays them). Also, just because an artist doesn’t like to “flaunt” what they have doesn’t mean that they are poor – take Eddie Cheung for example…he’s actually a self-made millionaire, as he has a few lucrative beauty product businesses that brings in enough money for him to just retire and do nothing – instead of flaunting that though, he is very low-key about it (in fact, rarely even mentions it unless he is asked) and continues to act because that’s his passion and he enjoys it.
Like you said, if you don’t try, how will you know it won’t work out? In Power’s case, he’s actually in a good position to “try” given his talent and his background – there’s no doubt that he will find another job.
@llwy12 im not sure,but its obvious if he hasnt any work yet she will be the breadwinner,unless as you said that if they have saved a large sum of money which they can use for a couple of years, then i will take back my words.
i do believe power is someone with a ideal,someone who want to continue improve and enrich himself,that will make it more difficult for him to accept a role in a movie or other tv station that he wants,unless there are producers that really wants to promote him and make a tailored made role for him. otherwise he could better stay at tvb. what i see is that his situation is similar as al wai who left tvb because of lack of opportunities,al wai also wants more than supporting roles,he is also a decent versatile supporting actor who dare to take an adventure with hktv, and see how he is struggling now. of course power have a better relationship with tvb and can go back in the future.but then again with his current status he will have to win the jackpot to take him where he want.
@kolo You’re making it sound like Power is unemployed, which he isn’t – theater actors still get paid, it’s just a matter of how much. Of course, can’t compare to the salary of ‘mainstream’ actors in television or movies (though if you reach a certain level in theater, might even make more than the lower level actors in television)….regardless, it’s definitely enough to maintain a living. When Mimi was interviewed at the airport (where she was picking Power up after his tour in Taiwan), even she said that she encourages Power to continue on the theater path and that the money may not be as much as before, but it’s enough to live off of. Besides, he’s definitely not going to be limited to theater, as there are producers out there who admire his talent and are willing to give him opportunities that he is willing to accept – for example, he did film the TV series Elite Brigade for RTHK and had a pretty heavy to the point of co-leading role in there.
As for Wilson Tsui (aka Ai Wai), he’s actually not a good comparison to make in this case because his background and situation are completely different. Even though Power was never a lead, he did have quite a few representative, memorable roles at TVB and a certain amount of popularity as well as name recognition, plus his affinity with audiences and being the ‘hot favorite’ to win the BSA award that one year (also his achievements/experiences in movies and theater) – all of that combined already puts him several levels above Wilson. Unfortunately, all Wilson had going for him was his acting and he actually put himself in a disadvantaged position by waiting so long to leave TVB (he worked for TVB close to 30 years and didn’t have a single memorable role – should’ve left long time ago).
@kolo Oh and another difference with Wilson’s situation is that his wife fell ill not long after he left TVB – she was eventually diagnosed with cancer and he ended up spending a lot of money on medical bills and such….that was the main reason why he ended up struggling financially (though not to the point where he had to sell his property or anything, which he probably would’ve done if he had to). It was an unfortunate situation and bad timing, but now that his wife is recovering, he can focus on ‘re-building’ whatever savings he had lost.
@llwy12, then i dont understand what his problem is that he said he didnt have enough opportunities from tvb, tvb let him work as theater-actor and film for rthk,beside his duty as tvb employee. do he really think that he can carry a drama on his own? he is good but no wayne lai,wayne is a few level above him,more charismatic and versatile.even if you give power the role as tsai gau he will not shine as wayne did. and i cant agree that wilson tsui acting is a few level beneath power,you are right that wilson didnt have memorable roles,that is because he never got the chance, but the roles he did is always convincing,if power didnt have enough opportunities then is wilson even less.
@kolo I like WL acting even bf his Chai Gau days but I disagree that WL is above PC. I see a lot of similarities between the two actors. I believe PC would’ve done well and as good in Chai Gau. IMO, WL just caught a big break. If they reversed roles, I don’t doubt PC wouldn’t get thevsame recognition as WL had/has.
As for Wilson, like him since his 369 role 🙂 He’s another good talent fell through the crack. At their current age, it’ll be hard for them to get leads at TVB. Look at Ram Chang. He finally got recognition but it’s only as a supporting role. Uncle Chi has never even got that kind recognition from tvb (not that I know of anyways) and his acting is truly several levels above WL and RC.
@jjwong Good point. And both Wilson and Uncle Chi got lead/co-lead roles at HKTV, which they never would’ve gotten if they had stayed at TVB. Of course, it wasn’t permanent since HKTV didn’t get its license, but it did bring them recognition and boosted their popularity – especially Uncle Chi, who is definitely levels above all of them in terms of acting (though technically Uncle Chi doesn’t really need it, since he is already a universally recognized great actor and also award-winning movie actor). For Wilson, it also got him other job opportunities that he wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, which is important for an artist in his position.
At the end of the day, we are all subject to our opinion, but who are we to say whether an artist deserves to be in a lead role or not when they were never even given the opportunity to try? It’s not like there’s a ‘job description’ outlining the qualifications an artist needs to fulfill in order to become lead (although sometimes I wish there were because then some of TVB’s current leads who have little to no acting experience probably wouldn’t be in their positions and we wouldn’t have to endure their horrible performances). I mean, how fair is it to give artists who can’t act one lead role after another while those who can act are forever stuck in supporting roles with no opportunity for advancement? If newbies with no acting experience can be handed lead roles through no effort of their own, then why can’t supporting artists who have toiled for 10, 15, 20, even 30 years request for 1 opportunity to be in a lead role?
@kolo I didn’t say that Wilson’s acting is below Power’s – I was referring to Wilson being at a less advantageous position as Power because he didn’t have memorable roles and also doesn’t have the popularity / affinity with audiences that Power did (plus the experiences in movies and filming outside of HK).
It doesn’t sound like you’re familiar with how this stuff works. Being under TVB management contract means that TVB controls the artist’s television career and arranges opportunities within their station, which includes dictating what types of roles the artists can get and whether to recommend them for certain roles over others. Performances/appearances that might even remotely be in conflict with TVB’s interests, they will typically not allow (though of course they will give leeway to certain artists due to favoritism). It also means the artist is subject to the restrictions that are placed on them via their contract (i.e. not speaking Cantonese when other TV stations interview them). Theater has nothing to do with television and does not conflict with TVB’s interests, so TVB has no right to prevent artists from participating in stage plays – and no, it is not an ‘opportunity’ that artists are given by TVB, since TVB has no jurisdiction over this area. Since Power is a graduate of the HKAPA, he is of course going to have connections to theater people who will invite him to do stage plays – as long as it doesn’t affect his ability to fulfill his contractual obligation to TVB, they essentially have no say in the matter. As for filming for RTHK – I wouldn’t necessarily call that an ‘opportunity’ given by TVB either. RTHK is a government radio station that also produces public service type awareness TV series (usually about some type of government-related service, such as police department, fire department, medical services, social services, etc.). As a requirement for their free-to-air license, TVB is obligated to support RTHK by lending artists to them to film series if RTHK production team requests it and schedule permits…and they are also required to air the series on their own station (ATV had to do the same thing back when they had their free-to-air license as well). Again, it’s not like TVB has much say in the matter.
What TVB DOES have control over is their artists’ appearances in outside events and opportunities to make more money. Have you seen Power film TV series outside of TVB and RTHK or even outside of HK while under TVB contract like other managed artists have? Have you seen him make paid appearances at various events (outside of promo events for TVB’s series) like other heavily promoted managed artists have? By not renewing his contract, Power is essentially a free artist and is no longer under TVB’s restrictions – if other TV stations and production companies offer him better roles or invite him to participate in their productions, he can do so as he wishes if he feels it suits him, whereas before he can’t even consider them. And it opens the door to possibly other money making opportunities that weren’t available to him under TVB contract. This is also why most artists who do return to TVB don’t sign management contracts with them – they only sign per series contracts so there are fewer restrictions and TVB does not control their career.
By the way – curious as to why you’re making such a big deal of Power Chan leaving TVB. He’s not the first artist to leave and definitely not the last. I don’t see why it’s such a huge problem that he chose not to renew his contract and to become a free artist instead – so many artists have done the same thing in the past few months (well, technically the past few years to be exact), it has almost become a ‘natural occurrence’ by now. Some of those artists were in similar positions as Power, some were in better positions, some were worse off – so why single him out as being “selfish” for leaving?
I actually like what Lawrence Ng said when asked to comment on the matter: he said that nowadays, it’s actually common practice to be a free artist — with so many options out there, it makes sense for artists to not be tied down to only one TV station and limit their opportunities.
Why did he leave in 1993?
He and Wayne Lai are similar as far as “late bloomers” go. WL is more fortunate though. WL had luck and struck gold while Power remained in supporting cast. If he doesn’t get leads now, he never will in tvb. It’s good for him to leave and explore other options. He has the acting chop to support himself outside of tvb. Didn’t he get recognition or award or something in films before he came back to tvb? He just finished a play, which implies he has other mean in making a living. Good for him!
Will miss him on my small screen.
@jjwong Power left back in 1993 for the same reason Wayne Lai and others before them had – to pursue a career in movies, which is pretty much what he did from 1993 to 2000 when he returned to TVB. During that time, he also filmed some TV series in between for cable TV, did some theater work (he did graduate from HKAPA after all, so should put that to good use), was involved with a few programs for HK radio stations, and also filmed TV series in Taiwan and Mainland China. It’s actually a similar path that Wayne took, except minus the theater and radio parts. The difference between those who left TVB in the 80s to pursue movie career and those who left in the mid to late 90s is that those who left in the 80s entered the HK film industry during its peak years when the industry was booming, whereas those who entered in the mid to late 90s did so around the time when the HK film industry was already on its downward spiral, so it was hard to survive in that industry unless you were already established. That’s one reason why both Power and Wayne eventually returned to TVB, though I definitely agree that Wayne was luckier in that he finally got the recognition he deserved and became lead actor, whereas Power still remained supporting. And yes, Power had actually been nominated for HKFA and Golden Horse awards a few times (the first time was in the 80s around the time he started with TVB if I remember correctly).
I’m also not concerned about Power not being able to support himself and his family. Like I said earlier, I’m pretty sure he had already thought about all that before deciding to leave TVB. He’s a smart man and also very family-oriented – like he said in his letter, back when he left in 1993, he was young and immature but now things are different, since he’s older, more mature, and has a family. I will miss him too, but if he has better opportunities and is happier, then I’m happy for him!
@llwy12 Appreciate the info.
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