Sammul Chan Scolds TVB for Poor Work Ethics

There has been a notable decline in the quality of TVB dramas in recent years. In order to bring the ratings up, TVB tried pulling veteran actors back to the station. However, even with the help of Dayo Wong (黃子華), ratings hovered only in the twenties, causing ex-TVB artist, Sammul Chan (陳鍵鋒) to openly laugh at TVB’s lack of quality series.

“Everyone can see the ratings of these series. Why are series with 27 and 28-point ratings worth celebrating? War of the Genders <男親女愛> received roughly 40 to 50 points and that’s why it was worth applauding. There’s more than a 10-point difference, why aren’t they embarrassed for putting on such a lavish celebration? Don’t try to cover the truth!”

TVB’s Lack of Work Ethics

Previously, artists that were locked down by long and tedious contracts had no choice but to stay with TVB. However, as the Mainland Chinese market is flourishing, many are heading north to earn more money. Sammul took the opportunity to excel in China.

When Sammul was 18 years old, he signed with his current agent. While filming for TVB, he had no choice but to accept whatever conditions were thrown his way. Sammul revealed that TVB management possesses terrible ethics when getting artists to sign contracts. Describing it as an uncomfortable experience, Sammul disclosed that TVB management did not allow him to bring his manager into the negotiation room. At that time, TVB already prepared a contract and would not budge in terms of salary. “I don’t like the method they used; it was uncomfortable and full of pressure.”

Sources: Apple Daily, Apple Daily

This article is written by Su for

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  1. And Felix Wong wanted to pave ways for his daughter to join TVB. What a joke this company has become. All these changes looks good in print, but clearly they are only for print and not to be implemented.

    1. Agreed! He should approach his daughter to compete Miss Hong Kong Pageant instead join TVB.

    2. TVB is a stepping stone. Whether the artises like it or not, it does give them the recognition, and publicity before hoping on to better jobs.

      TVB knows that, its like a training ground ground, do you expect to get high pay if you are a fresh graduate?

      The problem is, when these stars become famous and sought after, TVB still does not increase their salary and give them lucrative contracts.

      So, TVB is a ‘slave’ machine, train up skills but enslave them forever.

      That is the pay-off. welcome to the real world.

      The China market changed the status quo because of its consumer size, and so TVB can now talk loud.

      Have to see if the other 2 free TV can deliver, then can talk.

      1. The China market changed the status quo because of its consumer size, and so ex-TVB artises can now talk loud.

      2. Santa I find what you said is true but they do raise their pay when they get famous but just a small percentage boast.

  2. This is not new and I have heard of TVB’s bad work ethics for many years. I remember way back in the days when an artist,I think it was Sek Sau if I remember correctly, was taken to court because he did do what TVB wanted him to do. TVB has still still not changed one but. Many just stay with TVB because they have no where else to go. However, once they do, it is bye TVB!

  3. oh ok then i haven’t heard that kind of news before on tvb before…….but i have heard that tvb always give so less money for the actors=which is they work with tvb and so many tv actors went to china to earn more money…………i only remembered this kind of news……….

  4. Sammul Chan is a loser! Back in the days there were no such thing as internet streaming- TV rating is declining everywhere!!!! not just TVB!

    1. Back in the days there were no such thing as internet streaming- TV rating is declining everywhere!!!! not just TVB!
      Exactly. I hope Sammul will never have to film for TVB in future. Entertainment circle is round. I don’t think he should constantly bad-mouth TVB unless he knows for sure that he will never have anything to do with TVB in his whole life.

    2. That’s one reason but there are also other reasons like some producers and script writers , directors moved north or quit. And I don’t know if you guys notice but back then there use to be more people in the each series which made it more real. Like there would be a bunch of veterans to make the series better and tons of extras to give you the real feeling. For example in cop series or ancient series you need x amount of cops and soldiers a lot background people/villagers. But nowadays there seem to be less of those veterans supporting cast / background people. And most of the time they don’t show there faces.

    3. Can’t judge on him cause you don’t know what it has been like working for TVB. Bet the guy is more successful than you. The declined ratings he talked about meant that the recent ratings were nothing extraordinary better than the other dramas like the differences back in the days where you could tell it was a good drama right off the bat from the spiked ratings.

      1. Define success? more money? more power? or more popular? lol. At least I don’t go around and bash my ex employer OR I don’t bite the hand that feeds me.

        and haha, judge him? nahhhh!!!!!!!

      2. Whatever it is without TVB and its series today many actors and actresses would not be so well known all over the Chinese speaking world and many of them have become millionaires some of them multi-millionaires.

      3. It’s two separate issues.
        True, TVB did help many actors/actresses achieve fame and success.
        But also true, TVB treats their employees like slaves.
        Just because TVB gives aspiring/presently popular actors and actresses exposure, doesn’t mean they have the right to exploit them. The two do not have to go hand in hand.
        I think the HK entertainment industry needs more people like Sammul Chan and Felix Wong to speak up. This is the only way change will happen. If all ators/actresses stay quiet and passive, then TVB will never change. If TVB cannot handle constructive criticism, then it says more about them as a company than it does the actors/actresses who speak up.

      4. They don’t need more people speak up. Everybody knows by now TVB’s working conditions are bad! Bad enough when they really have to make the changes thanks to ex-TVB workers for PR damage.

      5. I agree with Mt that it is true that TVB has helped many artists achieve a name in the industry, however, they work them like crazy with with little pay. Who said that those 2 issues had to go hand in hand? I think it is great that he is speaking up and you need more people like him who are willing to do so or else TVB will never change. But even if many more spoke up, you still wonder if TVB will ever change? Even the minimum wage laws and things like equal rights and stuff were all things that the current generation is enjoying now and may take for granted. But they tend to forget the people who risked their lives or even sacrificed their lives so that people can have those rights. I guess if you do not go through something, then you can never truly understand it.

      6. Actually, I think the bottom line losers will be the artistes who speak up. Sheren Tang is a good example ………… she is being boycotted by TVB after she complained about the flying paper scripts. In fact, Sheren was not criticizing TVB badly, she was just commenting on the short notice of getting scripts from Scriptwriter Chow Yuk Ming. As Chow Yuk Ming was an employee of TVB, TVB did not like being criticized by their artistes.

    4. I think he’s aware of internet streaming…

      陳鍵鋒續笑道:「我真係覺得好搞笑,好彩觀眾好醒目,身邊好多朋友都上網睇電視,我屋企部電視都裝咗Apple TV,可以睇晒全國電視劇集。」

      1. No Hong Kong audience are even watching his mainland dramas, he should be worried more of himself, instead of bashing former employer. All of his so called successful drama are boring, he thinks that his dramas are so successful, why don’t they air it in Hong Kong to see how the rating is. Bet it won’t even reach 18pts.

      1. Just because he is religious he is not a loser? What a strange logic.

        He is hardly a devout Christian when he has premarital sex in his past relationships.

        Finally, when he started out in the film industry he starred in some insignificant films and failed there. If not for TVB his profile would not have been raised and he would not be in China making his fortune.

        TVB may have its faults but you must remember who gave you what you have today.

  5. Every interview he is in is always complaining about tvb. Please, as a professional actor, complain once or twice is ok but he complain all the time. He is just another Felix wong. Complain complain complain. So many actors and actresses work hard under even worse conditions than him but never complain. All those people that took them 20 yrs to even win one award or get recognition did not complain. He is just a cry baby.

    1. Totally agree. Complaining all the time and bad mouthing tvb makes him an unprofessional actor. He should be the one who should be embarrass. He think that he is very successful

      1. Agreed! his acting is even worst…im not here to support TVB or anyone. why don’t those ppls think before complaining, if not because of TVB and he think Mainland Chinese market will know him? Now he get better offer at Mainland market and keep complaining the former employer…he is a loser!

  6. wow, he looks like a pretty boy now. how much make up did he use?

    1. So agree with you, looking more and more like a gay pretty boy. He thinks he’s some big shot now that he’s gained some fame in mainland. Dont come crawling back to Tvb one day and eat humble pie like Felix.

      1. correction, actually i don’t think he’s pretty at all. He always reminds me of those chinese funeral dolls….creepy…

  7. I agree. He shouldn’t complain too much, he isn’t a good actor to begin with.

  8. The translated article missed the crucial point on why Sammul didn’t want to sign with TVB – he didn’t want to be disloyal to his manager who helped him since he started out at 18.

    1. The translated article is A LOT SHORTER then other forum site that they have the interview goes in great depth.

    2. Yes,I remember hearing about that. That is one of the biggest problems with these summarized or translated articles. Things are often lost in translation and things are often omitted and inaccurately translated.

  9. If Samuel’s mainland drama is broadcast in Hong Kong, I bet it couldn’t even beat tvb one bit. It definitely will be lower than 20pt, he should be celebrating that it had reached to a two digit number. Also, he does not know the meaning of celebrating, it is not always about ratings, it is celebrating the crews’ hard work and accomplishments. Samuel should learn the meaning of teamwork and less about himself for people to respect him

    1. Samuel is the one who has poor work ethic, bashing former employer is really an unprofessional behavior, he should be ashamed

    2. I blv his most famous one Scheme Beauty aired in Txb but I dun rmb its rating. His another series The last Princess aired there and received quite low rating.

    3. i totally agree! i mean like no offense but the mainland drama’s are kinda bad

      1. Not true that all mainland drama are bad. Maybe it is just the HK audience not knowing how to enjoy it. But it varies since the Korean series dae jang gum got really high ratings.

      2. some mainland dramas are pretty good havent watched any of samuals watch a few of benny chan mainland series theyre pretty goood

      3. I find it hard to watch Mainland contemporary dramas. I tried watching when I had to travel to china for work. I figured it tries too hard to be hip and the story lines are so sensational. Ancient dramas are pretty neat though. They also have a lot of propaganda war films which are reeeeally boring. Perhaps it’s just not relevant to the Chinese diaspora. Meh. Perhaps it will change in time to come. Chinese pop culture may become more dominant in the future.

  10. I don’t think he intentionally talked bad about the company but rather he is constantly asked about it. He may be a bit blunt but it’s the truth it is embarrassing to celebrate a series with low ratings and more importantly when the feedback of the series wasn’t even great to start with.

    1. Again,celebrating is not always about ratings, it is celebrating the crews’ hard work and accomplishments. Samuel should learn the meaning of teamwork and less about himself for people to respect him

      1. It’s not the ratings I care about but how good of a production it’ll eventually become that matters. Everyone works hard on films whether it’s a low budget one or a huge production but if it’s a crappy one then I don’t see the reason why they should celebrate it.

      2. Don’t you understand, it is a celebration for the crews hard work, whether it is crappy or not, it is still work that they have put together for people to watch.

        Again it is not always about the series it is receiving or not, it is the team effort

      3. Really now? Because in all the news and video clips of their celebration all they mention is how successful the series is and the ratings…I doubt they actually celebrate the crews hard work. I wouldn’t mind if they do that but why make it such a public event? It’s just for the series.

  11. I like Sammul and I always thought TVB never knew how to fully utilize him, unlike China. But reading this, I feel

    1. he is a little too late jump onto the bandwagon of scold TVB all you can buffer because TVB is now new management and trying to improve

    2. he isn’t Felix Wong

    3. don’t ever end up like Wong Hei

    4. never ever burn your bridges, and never ever be sarcastic to your potential future boss

    Sammul sometimes needs to think before speaking. Unfortunately he often shoots his mouth before considering his words. Felix is blunt but Felix manages to sound like he cares about TVB and so he made those comments.

    1. yup, point no. 2, well said,

      And, I don’t recall Felix Wong bashing like this, Felix Wong mostly complaint about lack of series promotion and favouritism

  12. I’m not a fan of Sammul and find him way too egotistical. I remember this one interview he did where he implied the trend was going downward in his female co-stars when he had to pair up with Selena Li and Natalie Tong. I can see he’s bitter but no need to involve his co-stars.

  13. Without TVB, he will just be a nobody and Mainland probably wouldn’t even want him as an actor. Even though TVB is not the best employer but he should thank them for giving him the opportunity to make it big enough where other stations and markets want him.

  14. Personally, I do not see a problem with a celebratory dinner (even if the ratings are mediocre). Although the artistes play a major role, the backstage crew who edits, puts the final products together is important too. Teamwork is very important. A celebratory dinner is a way to thank the production crew and artistes for their hard work, a way to encourage everyone..

    And although I like Sammul Chan’s acting, I don’t really like the way he bashes TVB (even though what he is saying may be true)..

    1. Agreed. I like Sammul, but I’m somewhat disappointed with his response. I don’t mind if it’s some sort of valid and constructive criticism, but it comes off like he’s just laughing in people’s faces this time… Well, he can laugh at upper-management all he likes since they’re such screw-ups, but the poor cast and crew don’t deserve this.

      1. I don’t understand why he need to laugh on the rating. Did any of his Mainland drama show in HK and hit 20points? BL is the best comedy drama I watch in year 2013 and this is the only TVB drama I never fast fwd. I agreed with sandcherry: Back in the days there were no such thing as internet streaming. He shld concentrate his own business and stop complaining.

  15. Everyone is entitled to their opinion just like Sammul. If he chooses to burn his bridges, so let him. He is a grown man. If the readers brand him as a crybaby or whatever, then the readers are no better than he is. What a pity. Let him have his say. Personally, the writing on the wall is TVB is losing their monopoly and that they will have to loosen their purse-strings to keep good talent.

  16. Sammul might think he is successful in China to burn the bridge. However why Dayo? Why? Why Sammul is pointing a man that won’t harm anything to him in Txb? And Dayo is even not a biological son. I don’t understand his intention this time.

    Btw, his words somehow reminds me of Erika Yuen the Txb basher. I rmb I’ve just seen her name somewhere.

    1. Who is Erika Yuen? Can I have her Chinese name please?

      1. Yes. But I doubt you can recognize her. She is not famous for her acting but for her bashes toward Txb and Tracy Ip.

  17. Many artistes complained about TVB, but their complaints were based on facts, such as flying paper scripts, lack of series promotion and favouritism, long filming hours, etc., unlike Sammul Chan who openly laughed at TVB’s lack of quality series …… “Everyone can see the ratings of these series. Why are series with 27 and 28-point ratings worth celebrating?”

    I think he was very stupid to do it. He thinks he is very successful in filming drama series in Mainland China, but I am sure there are more TVB artistes who are more successful and making more money than Sammul Chan in Mainland China. Kevin Cheng is one of them.

    1. Talking about flying paper scripts I was watching the super long TMO Lord Of The Rings and I bet Sheren Teng and the likes will quit the movies. Because every day there’s rewrites, major stuff, work non stop, etc.

    2. Samuel’s drama also lacks quality and the story lines are BORING, I bet he also celebrates for its poor ratings back in mainland.

      1. Just a series is bad is not because of him only. There is way more to a series than just the cast or one of the cast members.

      2. That is just your opinion and I do not believe that just one persons acting can bring down a series. If you do not like him then I really wonder if you even watched any of his series since you seem to only go for the cast. If you hate him that much and only go for the cast,then I kind of doubt that you saw any of his mainland series to even judge at all.

      1. I understand their frustration about how tvb handle the staff. I just hope now is better. But like I said, he should not laugh at the rating and celebration dinners. How successful is he in HK? I don’t even think he is so big in china. I just can’t stand someone like that.

      2. @clamine thanks!

        @JCCL what’s wrong with sammul voicing his frustration? he’s only voicing frustration at how tvb mistreat him and not like he was insulting his tvb friends!

        sammul is like steven ma they are those who only blame tvb management and voicing their frustration on tvb management but still good with tvb stars! i bet behind the cameras sammul still hang out and keep in touch with his old friends in tvb although he criticizes tvb a lot!

    1. That is where this profession is different from the others. Even when you go shopping or to the restroom there are people who will follow you.

  18. Sammul is entitled to say what he want however, his comments kind of insult those who are still working for TVB. He should at least respect his former colleagues more. They, Kenneth, Tavia, Kate, Myolie and etc work hard and make sacrifices in their work such as incurring injuries and having less personal time. Furthermore, internal and external environment in the TV industry is shifting. Its different to the time of War of Genders. Yes, TVB series are nowadays far worse than before. Nonetheless, I can see they are making initiatives to try and change and improve. They deserve some applause for that. After all, people who are trying to change for the better deserves a chance. Also, I am sick of Sammul saying same things over and over. He sounded really bitter, as if he can’t get over the fact TVB promoted others more than him.

    1. I would not say that he disrespecting his colleagues. I think he is standing up for the bad treatment that he used to endure and they are still enduring. I do not see TVB trying to change at all. They sound like they are trying to change, but it still all sounds the same. If you followed this issue about TVB implementing change, you can see that they have not changed at all. TVB will be doomed if they do not change for the better. Sammul knows very well why he was not promoted so I do not think he is bitter about that but about the very bad treatment that he endured.

      1. agree sammul is same like steven ma he only bitter on the mistreatment he got from tvb and not jealousing on others or want to insult tvb artistes! i bet sammul still hang out with his tvb friends and respects them!

    2. You have some points but you sound like out of Txb, nobody work hard. It’s kind of insulting as well.

  19. If it is the truth, let’s hear it (good or bad). Knowingly letting wrongdoings continue to happen makes you just as guilty.

    “The innocent have nothing to hide/fear.”

  20. sammul look more feminine day after day and never liked his acting but he should be applauded for be brave to reveal tvb’s dark truth and dirty secrets.

    1. All companies have dark and dirty secrets including hktv

  21. The more he bashes TVB the more respect I give to other ex TVB stars who are as same as his generation like Bernice, Michelle or even Hawick. TVB was always harsh to them too but they know they cannot get their current position & deputation without their parental home – TVB. Sometime, keeping silence is one of the way to give thanks back. Pls be mature, boy.

    1. Agree. I did not seem to hear anything bad from Harwick Lau when he left TVB many years ago. He was not promoted highly by TVB during his time, and he is more popular in Mainland China than Sammul Chan (I believe). People respect Harwick more than Sammul in this respect no matter who acts/sells better.

      1. sammul just bash the tvb management and he has right to do so since tvb didn’t promote him and mistreat him and tried to cheat him into signing a management contract when he’s still managed by ivy.

        steven and your beloved fala chen also criticizes tvb management, why you say nothing about them and so bias at sammul sandcherry?

      2. ” I did not seem to hear anything bad from Harwick Lau when he left TVB many years ago.”

        Because Lau Dan is still there and surely he won’t trouble his dad right? And I remember reading Harwick said he was immature and squandered the opportunities given by TVB and moving to China made him appreciate the chances. So basically he left on good terms? Or rather he felt he deserved to be ditched, thrown out and cast into the abyss?

      3. Harwick made the change going to Mainland to improve his acting and presence.

      4. Ppl all forgot that before heading to China, Hawick acted for ATV. However he made no comments to his time in Txb where he only had supporting roles (smaller than Sammul)

      5. hawick is considered main and leading cast of kindred spirit and virtues harmony 1&2 and a normal family series. what supporting role?

      6. Without a doubt, I think selfiwu has never watched Kindred spirit and Virtues of harmony

      7. Fox, he can be said to be one of the leading cast of Kindred Spirit, sort of. His story arc was quite a lot.

      8. Harwick Lau did not get lead roles in both “A Kindred Spirit” and “Virtues of Harmony 1 & 2”. As per Wikipedia, Harwick Lau was listed #15 in “A Kindred Spirit” and #14 in “Virtues of Harmony” and #18 in “Virtues of Harmony 2”.

        As far as I could remember, Harwick’s only co-leading role in TVB drama series was “My Family 甜孫爺爺”, and he left TVB for ATV after 甜孫爺爺.

      9. Still little to be considered as a lead. Much can say a supporting.

        In My Family he has to share screentime with Alex Fong

      10. That is why I said Harwick Lau was a co-lead actor (with Alex Fong) in 甜孫爺爺.

      11. If not mistake, the leading in My Family is Chung King Fai.

      12. Yes, Mr. Chung is No.1 leading but the young ones are Hawick and Alex Fong.

      13. I did not watch kindred spirit so I cannot comment but I did see all do Virtues of Harmony and Hawick was NOT one of the leads. Selfiwu clearly did not that series.

    2. keeping silence doesnt necessary mean ex-tvb stars are giving thanks back,on the other hand bashing tvb are not always mean to be bad. but i dont like sammuel bashing tvb like this after he gain succes in mainland. if he did it when he was a nobody i would have more respect for him.

      1. Why would you have more respect if he was a nobody? That does not make sense to me. If you think he is bad for bashing TVB then he should be bad no matter what. Just because if he was a nobody you would respect him more? I do not see the logic there.

    3. tvb was never harsh to michelle, she was female leads when she left! she only left tvb because she wants to be movie star like maggie cheung man yuk! michelle said herself, that’s why she has no bad egg at tvb!

  22. I just watched the video clip of the interview with Sammul which someone shared the link on this forum. This article does not fully represent what he said. Sammul did not sound arrogant nor condescending in the interview. He was merely relating what happened to him when negotiating his contract with TVB. People here are just bashing him based on a translated article that does not quite capture the essence of the interview. Seriously … …

    1. This is the problem of inaccuracy in translated articles. Not every one of us has time and ability to read the Chinese source or watch the video clip.

      Thanks anyway for pointing out the inaccurate translation.

    2. I didn’t think he “sounded” (on paper( arrogant nor condescending but it is time he just should stop and not say anything.

      1. He was only replying because he was asked. At least he is honest and consistent over his opinion with TVB. If that is his position, I don’t see why he needs to hide it and not say anything.

      2. If he was asked then it is not his fault to answer the questions.

    3. I watched that clip, too, and thought everything he said was fine. Apart from when he starts talking about the celebratory dinner. Sure, what he said was true and I don’t think it was his intention to snub the cast and crew either, but it really didn’t come off well… I’m glad he spoke up about the contract signing though.

      1. Do you have the link to that clip? I think we all should see it instead of read these summarized and translated articles that are not accurate.

    4. Good point primrose! Many here are just bashing Sammul based on a translated or summarized article. Interviews are usually the best source since it actually shows them saying things. Things are often lost in translation so I guess that reminds me and others to make the effort to go and read the original source. I do admit that I get busy and lazy to do so and many here cannot read Chinese so I guess I can understand to some extent.

      1. Nevermind, I just found the link and saw the clip. Yes,Sammul did not sound arrogant or vindictive at all. He was just telling about what happened to him when they made him sign the contract. I urge you to see it whether you understand Chinese or not because you can still tell by the tone of his voice that he was not being mean or vindictive at all.

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