Actor Auston Lam on why he left TVB: Offer 'could not even cover a month's rent'

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

Actor Auston Lam is the latest actor to leave TVB, joining Vivien Yeo, Selena Lee and Evergreen Mak in the list of stars who have cut ties with the Hong Kong broadcasting network.

Lam first signed onto TVB in 2009 and has acted in several dramas, including Come Home Love, Brother’s Keeper II and Brutally Young.

However, the actor’s memories of his contract are far from fond. On June 24, Lam made an Instagram post announcing his departure.

He then went on to explain why he did not renew his contract with the network: “Today, my old company proposed a renewal of our contract. Under the new terms, I am to do six shows per year, which means I would be guaranteed an annual salary of HKD12,000 (S$2,100)! This is indeed a gift from heaven – though the amount will not even cover a month's rent, I am extremely grateful.

“I am 32 this year and I have a family to feed. May I ask how I can accept this generous present? I suppose my wife will just have to be poor with me, ” he wrote sarcastically.

Lam’s wife, Tammy Ou-Yang – who is a TVB alumni herself – also made a post directed at the network: “Since leaving TVB, I have never once spoken out about the network. Not in public, and not in private, because I did not want to be associated with them anymore. But today, I want to say something: thank you for letting my husband go. You can have your ‘present’ back; we will be just fine on our own!”

In his post, Lam suggests that he might start afresh as an independent singer. While the actor did not mention any concrete plans for the future, it is apparent that he will not be re-joining TVB any time soon.

Lam and Ou-Yang are not the only actors to have come forward with horror stories about TVB. Earlier this month, Evergreen Mak also shared his own negative experiences, detailing ill-treatment at the hands of directors.

“If (the directors) feel that the company no longer values you, they will treat you as if you are less than dirt. But honestly, what else can I do? In any company, there is bound to be a hierarchy. As important as team spirit is, some people just like to play politics, ” Mak told reporters from Sing Tao.