Monday, November 03, 2003

[The Sun]

"Virtues of Harmony" is very strict with its cast members and even the stars do not get special treatment as recently Michael Tse and Bondy Chiu have been punished for their poor punctuality by not being allowed any screentime for two weeks as they are made an example of to warn others not to miss their schedules.

For two weeks now, Michael and Bondy have suddenly disappeared from "Virtues of Harmony 2" as the script hinted that they had gone abroad on a business trip. As the two are members of the Kam family and main characters in the show with heavy parts and appearing in nearly every episode, there was no need in the plot to arrange for them to have a trip and their sudden disappearance arouses much curiosity.

In reality, the cast and crew of "Virtues" know in their hearts that the two have broken the rules by being late and have been 'frozen' by the company. Reports indicate that the two were often late and missing scenes last month and subjected to some complaints from other people leading to them being called in by the executives. At the time they explained that their tardiness was due to them having too many scenes, but TVB did not accept this as they believed everyone in the show is in the same position and main characters are no exception. They also issued a warning to them not to repeat the incident.

However, the two continued to be late and the company decided that the matter was serious and in light of the previous similar occurrence involving Celine Ma, [Reportedly, she was consistently late for filming in the ancient "Virtues of Harmony" and so was dropped from the modern show.] they still had no hesitation in making an example of them and freezing their screentime. This has resulted in the other cast members not daring to use tight scheduling as an excuse for being late or not turning up. Michael and Bondy have finally served their punishment and have returned to work as they put this incident behind them.

When Michael was contacted about this incident and asked about being 'frozen', he only said: "We aren't school kids, there isn't any punishment or suspension as such, everyone is late and because Bondy and I had a lot of scenes earlier and our schedules were very tight, so we were late a bit more than usual. We should be more punctual and I totally understand and will try my best to make arrangements. I hope that everyone will understand our position." As for Bondy, she is yet to respond.

Producer of "Virtues" Chui Yu On responds to the lateness and the ban on screentime saying: "Every artiste will be late, but the most important thing is to pay attention to the seriousness and the reason."


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