Avalanche of complaints against Twins star

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 12:00am

The future career of Canto-pop star Gillian Chung Yan-tung was in doubt yesterday after more than 2,000 complaints were received against a charity programme in which she made her first appearance since being embroiled in the internet sex pictures scandal that is still rocking the entertainment world.

More than 1,900 complaints were made to the broadcasting watchdog and a further 373 to TVB - including seven that demanded Chung be banned from any further shows and six urging the station not to show any more performances by Chung's singing duo, Twins.

Meanwhile there was a call for singer-actor Edison Chen Koon-hei to return and explain his role in the scandal, in which hundreds of pictures purporting to depict him in sexual poses with a string of female stars, including Chung, have been posted in the past three weeks. Chen is believed to be in the United States.

Chung, who has already gone public, describing herself as silly and naive without directly admitting the pictures were of her, joined her Twins partner, Charlene Choi Cheuk-yin, to sing two songs during the first 15 minutes of the show, aired on Sunday.

TVB assistant external affairs controller Tsing Sing-ming said that although the station had also received 264 supportive notes from viewers, the staggering number of complaints against Chung's TV appearance was unexpected. He said Twins were scheduled to appear on tomorrow's music programme Jade Solid Gold, but 'with such a great amount of complaints, we do not know if there will be any changes to their appearance in the programme'.

Meanwhile, entertainment heavyweight Peter Lam Kin-ngok said Chen should take responsibility and return to Hong Kong to explain the affair to the public in person.

'Everyone thinks this incident has set a bad example to the public and the public has already drawn a conclusion on whether he has done anything wrong,' said Mr Lam, chairman of Media Asia Group, which owns Chen's management firm.

The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority by yesterday had also received 202 complaints against newspaper and magazine coverage of the scandal.

Two magazines have been sent to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for classification, adjudicator Mervyn Cheung Man-ping said, adding that the police had not sent the tribunal any material for classification in any of the cases under investigation.

The government said a review of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance would be speeded up as a result of the scandal and put up for public consultation in the second half of the year. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si-hang said the government hoped to finish the 'very complicated' review in six months.

Former police commissioner Tsang Yam-pui yesterday defended his successor, Tang King-shing, and his assistant, Vincent Wong Fook-chuen over their handing of the saga.

'They did well and they have followed all the right procedures,' Mr Tsang said, speaking after police were criticised for charging a man with publishing an obscene article but later withdrawing the charge after the picture was ruled indecent.

Former secretary for security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said withdrawal of the charge was fair but 'having spent two weeks [on remand] behind bars, I think [Chung Yik-tin] can consider seeking compensation'.

In a wry twist, Tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun said the 'naughtiest' thing was for a man to have sex, then tell. 'Men can be playful but they cannot spread these things around.'