The HK Performing Artistes Guild Sends Stimulus Funds to Members

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Hong Kong entertainment industry was nearly put into a halt. Film production was postponed, and many grassroots artistes have been without a job for months. Organized by its current and former presidents Louis Koo (古天樂) and Andrew Lau (劉偉強), the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild expanded its “Hong Kong Filmmakers Epidemic Support Plan” by providing relief funds to disadvantaged guild members. The relief plan is funded by donators.

To be eligible to receive the guild’s full $9,000 Hong Kong dollar stimulus check, the artiste has to be a permanent Hong Kong resident, and has been part of at least two projects in the last three years, from 2017 to March 31, 2020. Only those who work in the entertainment industry, whether as an actor or as a crew member, can apply for the stimulus check. As donations are limited, approved checks are passed out in a first come, first service basis. Many actors have already expressed that they have received their HK$9,000 checks, such as Evergreen Mak (麥長青), Lawrence Lau (劉錫賢), and Bob Lam Chi-pok (林子博).

However, the support plan is being criticized for having loose restrictions, as many artistes were able to apply without having to provide their proof of income (or lack there-of). Some more well-off actors—like Michael Tong (唐文龍) and Toby Chan (陳庭欣)—were able to receive HK$9,000 stimulus checks.

Andrew Lau acknowledged the flaw in the system, saying, “This is beyond our control for now. This operates on an honest system, and we respect all colleagues.”

Although out of work, martial arts actor Ken Lo (盧惠光) said he donated a five-figure sum to the guild instead of applying for relief, explaining that he was not in need of money. As for his thoughts on financially stable artistes applying for the fund, he said, “Everybody has their own reasons for doing it. As for me, I didn’t apply because I don’t need it. Although I did not donate a lot, I do want to help out as much as I can. I don’t want to criticize anyone. It’s important to be self-disciplined.”

Toby Chan was criticized for being one of the more well-off artistes applying for the fund. The Scoop <東張西望> MC said, “Honestly, I wasn’t thinking ahead at all when I applied. I saw that I was eligible and applied. I wasn’t expecting myself to be approved! (How will you use your money?) I haven’t cashed in the check yet because I’ve been busy filming, but I will donate it to colleagues who need it.”

As for Michael Tong, who hasn’t filmed a new project since August due to postponed schedules, said, “A friend gave me the form and told me that I was eligible, so I applied.” Pointing out that in doing so he could be preventing resources from being distributed to more needy artistes, Michael explained, “I wasn’t sure before, and didn’t think too much about it before applying. Now I know, so I’m willing to donate my check to others.”


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Well I hope they will donate the checks to those who really needs it, if they don’t need it.
    But also sometimes, some people look well-to-do from outside but they are actually drowned in debt. Maybe they really need those checks but now got caught by journalists and got shamed?

    1. @cutie777 A rich BF doesn’t mean she’s rich, though. they could have separate finances, so in which case, she can still be poor.

  2. I don’t think these well off artistes were thinking about the money when applying. They just wanted to show off that they had close links to ‘Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild’.

  3. that’s really a flaw in the system. if there is really limited funds, why would they send it to people who don’t need it. yes, system is honest based but why some people such as toby apply. i wonder if they made it clear in the beginning to encourage those who are in need to to apply.

    1. @m0m0
      It’s really hard to set a qualifying criteria for the ‘assisting funds’. It will be up to the organisation to communicate it clearly and the qualifying candidates to be sensible. If the ones who do not need the money apply then can’t really blame them since they are entitled. It is impossible to perform an assessment on the financial situation all applicants. Some maybe applying actually need the money, thought of it as a symbol of achievement in the industry or even thought there were enough funds for everyone. There are possibly greedy ones but I doubt anyone would knowingly risk backlash for 9k hkd

  4. There are loopholes to any system. Unfortunately, you can’t tighten or close them all. This leads to individual policing their own moral, which we know it’s very problematic.

    In US, I know people who is well off and make way over than the stimulus limit. Yet they still get the check because their income is not 100% reported on their income taxes. I know people who go on to get unemployment check even though they live in big house and ride nice carS. It’s working the system, but it isn’t illegal persay.

    You can only hope fund does get to the people who actually really need to survive.

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