Since TVB executive, Stephen Chan <陳志雲>, became embroiled in a corruption scandal in March 2010, 17 months have elapsed with the case still undergoing trial. During the days when many artists retained their distance from Stephen due to political reasons, only Wong Hei (王喜) proved his loyalty by standing firmly by his friend’s side.
Although Wong Hei’s management contract will be expiring next month, TVB did not ask to renew his contract. At the same time, the Artist Department suggested that Wong Hei pay a fee to end his contract early in advance! Wong Hei commented, “Considered abandoned and worthless, of course I accept it!”
Since Stephen Chan was faced with corruption allegations, his cronies, Amigo Chui (崔建邦), Patrick Tang (鄧健泓), and Louis Cheung (張繼聰) disappeared from his side and docked by other allies. Only Wong Hei, who had known Stephen for 19 years, continued to accompany Stephen in court and prayed for his fortune. Wong Hei even declared that he would sell his own house to pay for Stephen’s legal fees!
In July, Stephen celebrated Wong Hei’s 44th birthday with him. It was obvious that the men shared a deep friendship. Wong Hei’s loyalty in friendship was highly praised by netizens. Unexpectedly, his loyalty resulted in being kicked out by TVB!
For many years, it was rumored that Wong Hei received the strong backing of Stephen Chan. Since Stephen’s corruption investigation occurred, Wong Hei’s star status disappeared. When Stephen resumed his position at TVB in November 2010, it was stipulated that he will no longer oversee artist management matters. Considered to be Stephen’s rival, Virginia Lok (樂易玲) took over control of the Artist Management department. Wong Hei’s work continued to decline. Due to reasons that Wong Hei did not have enough “shows,” the stipulated amount of work in his contract will not be allocated.
From Lead Actor to Cameo Roles
At one point in his career, Wong Hei filmed three installments of Burning Flame <烈火雄心>. This year, he has not filmed any TVB series. He was only offered a cameo role in Some Day <天天天晴>, documentary program Three Gorges <大三峽>, and the 10-episode variety program Hong Kong Back Then <香港演義>. Wong Hei’s work load was even less than a third-line actor.
Kicked Out of TVB
With his contract expiring next month, Wong Hei had a schedule conflict with other colleagues while filming Hong Kong Back Then. Thus he suggested that he will film 7 episodes of the program and promised to complete the remaining 3 episodes before his contract expired. Unexpectedly, the Artist Management department suggested that Wong Hei could pay a monetary fee to end his contract early. In other words, Wong Hei was being kicked out of TVB!
Allegedly, Wong Hei was extremely saddened by the conversation with TVB. Despite working at TVB for 16 years, he received such treatment from the company. In a telephone interview, Wong Hei stated, “Since I am busy this month, I told TVB that I will not be able to film all the episodes of Hong Kong Back Then. Although my contract is not over yet, the Artist Department said that I can pay a fee and leave. I never imagined they would say that! Afterwards, I did not know how to react. I said I will think about the matter. The Artist Department has not called back; we have reached a stalemate now.”
Sealing His Own Fate By Attacking Virginia Lok
Asked whether he felt that Virginia Lok was “knifing” him, Wong Hei sounded helpless. He attacked Virginia Lok indirectly, “She has professional judgment. Whoever she cultivates or disposes, I respect her professional decisions. Since I have been considered worthless and abandoned, of course I accept it!
“Ms. Lok is only concerned about TVB’s vantage point and will even calculate every show’s fees. She is indispensable. In such a turbulent economy, many companies need the same type of employee as Ms. Lok!” Asked whether his friendship with Stephen Chan had resulted in his predicament, Wong Hei noted, “I let everyone make the judgment! Since I am involved in the incident, I’m afraid what I say will not be neutral.”
Wong Hei’s acting career was marked by high peaks and deep falls. For many years, Wong Hei has often been entangled in negative rumors. “Since I entered TVB, I have been filming one series per year. I am not the type of artist to film multiple series each year. As a result, each time I cherish the opportunity and will work very hard. Perhaps other people do not understand my feelings. Despite many odd rumors, I did not mind.”
Asked what his plans for the future were, Wong Hei replied, “Although this place is not for me, there will be another place suitable for me!” The press tried to contact Virginia Lok for comment without any success.
Excerpt from Appledaily
Jayne: I was saddened and angered to hear that Wong Hei was treated so disrespectfully by the Artist Department. I wish him success in his future endeavors. He is truly a multi-talented individual and hopefully his feng shui practice blossoms!