Artistes engaged by the organiser of the Asian Television Awards have not been paid in full for their services rendered, even after more than a year.
The awards show held its 23rd run over the weekend (Jan 11 to 13) in Kuching, Sarawak, but according to a Lianhe Wanbao report, all is not as rosy as it seemed on the red carpet.
Home-grown singer Joanna Dong is reportedly still owed $8,000 for her two performances in Dec 2017, according to her record label Red Roof Records.
Similarly, FLY Entertainment artiste, Stephanie Carrington, who hosted the Awards thrice, also faced non-payment, according to its founder and chief executive officer, Irene Ang.
The third time Carrington hosted the awards in 2017, her agency demanded and received an upfront payment of half her fees, but have yet to obtain the remainder.
Chinese media reports state that the organiser is still in debt to at least five other companies, amounting to a six-figure sum.
According to Wanbao, one of these companies is local production house ActiveTV, which was hired by The Asian Television Awards Pte Ltd in 2017 to organise the show.
Last year, the issue made headlines after ActiveTV took legal action to reclaim arrears of close to $300,000.
The lawsuit led to the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) withdrawing sponsorship and removing the event from the Singapore Media Festival.
Local companies including Mediacorp, Singtel and StarHub subsequently pulled their support for the awards.
In July 2018, Mumbrella reported that action is being taken against The Asian Television Awards Pte Ltd - now known as Active Marketing & Events - and its chairman, Singaporean Raymond Wong.
Additionally, Wanbao reported that Wong is said to have gone bankrupt since the issue blew up last year, according to sources within the entertainment circle.
It is understood that the lawsuit between ActiveTV and Active Marketing & Events is ongoing and the next hearing will commence this Friday (Jan 18).
THE SHOW WENT ON
For the first time since it started in 1996, the ceremony was held in Malaysia instead of Singapore this year.
According to the Asian Television Awards website, the most recent event was organised by ATV Awards Sdn Bhd, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports of Sarawak.
Top winners include Taiwanese actor Rexen Cheng, who won Best Actor for his performance in Schrodinger’s Cat, and South Korean actress Kim Nam Joo, who was awarded Best Actress for her role in Misty.
Other notable award recipients were Something In The Rain (South Korea) for the Best Drama Series; Kurara: The Dazzling Life of Hokusai’s Daughter (Japan) for Best Single Drama or Telemovie Programme; JTBC (South Korea) for Cable & Satellite Network of the Year and Formosa Television (Taiwan) for Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year.