Charmaine Sheh whose career rose to fame after her role in Story of Yanxi Palace received just HKD20,000 (SGD3,400) to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony, proving how dire things are for the Hong Kong entertainment industry right now.
According to a report by 8days.sg on January 16, the COVID-19 pandemic has had such a devastating impact on Hong Kong’s entertainment industry that TVB could not offer any year-end bonuses or pay increments to its employees including its artistes. Some artists had to depend on financial aid to make ends meet. What is worse is that the situation may be worse than we thought. A veteran entertainment reporter revealed recently that there are currently over 600 Hong Kong artistes that are unemployed right now.
A-listers like Sheh have also reportedly suffered a pay cut. According to the reporter, In comparison, Chinese artistes can earn up to 1 million yuan (SGD205,000), which sounds closer to Sheh’s usual rate. The 45-year-old lives in a posh apartment where the rent goes up to HKD320,000 (SGD 54,700) a month.
Upon this revelation, some resourceful netizens then compiled a list of how much TVB artistes are allegedly paid per episode. The information may be outdated and also unverified. Many of those mentioned have left TVB but it gives a rough estimate of their remunerations.
Among those mentioned on the list are Sheren Tang, who earned HKD80,000 (SGD13,700) per episode; Roger Kwok and Kevin Cheng, who each pulled HKD70,000 (SGD12,000) per episode; and Charmaine with HKD65,000 (SGD11,100).
These are the information for A-listers. For those who are not as famous, they are said to be paid less than HKD500 (SGD86).
Last year, actor Auston Lam announced his departure from TVB and he revealed that he could only be guaranteed an annual income of HKD12,000 (SGD2,100). Actress Christy Chan said she was basically “cheap labour” and that she was once paid just HKD28 (SGD5) per hour to film a show in Vietnam.
It is no surprise then that Liza Wang felt compelled to deliver a rousing speech of hers at the Anniversary Awards where she called on TVB to consider increasing the salaries of its artistes, at least after the pandemic has died down. /TISG
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