More dirt gets scooped out.
Charity show stars speak out
Bitter behind the glitter
By Wendy Teo
July 17, 2005
CRY on cue. No joking on the set. Be careful with the props.
These are just some of the instructions that have irked some MediaCorp artistes performing stunts on NKF fundraising shows.
Behind the brave, often grave, faces of the stars performing in the shows, they claim, are traces of bitterness.
Now, stirred by the public outrage over NKF's dealings, some MediaCorp stars have come out to give a behind-the-scenes expose - despite a gag order reportedly issued by MediaCorp on its artistes.
They had risked life and limb raising funds for the NKF through the charity shows.
But they feel they didn't get enough appreciation for their efforts - or enough attention when they were hurt.
Several MediaCorp artistes claimed they had been unhappy with NKF's management style even before the revelation of the CEO's high salary and perks in court.
One artiste felt they did not get personalised attention.
'It was just our job to perform.'
Another artiste told The New Paper of a colleague who had suffered a bad injury after performing one of the risky stunts that NKF Charity Shows have come to be known for.
'That colleague had to seek urgent medical treatment for the injury after the show. And, during that period, none of the NKF people visited,' the artiste said.
'What I heard was that NKF did not offer to pay for the medical bills.'
But MediaCorp, through Ms Ivy Low, who heads the Artiste Management Unit at MediaCorp, said that NKF weren't informed.
She also revealed that the injured artiste was actress Carole Lin.
Wrote Ms Low in an e-mail reply: 'During one of the practice sessions for the NKF show, Carole Lin injured her knee.
'She saw a doctor for her injury. Injuries do occur from time to time during our practices. But we don't alert our business partners on every incident.
'We did not inform the NKF about Carole's injury. As an artiste of MediaCorp, Carole is fully covered by the workmen's compensation.'
When The New Paper contacted Carole yesterday, she had just returned from a physiotherapy session.
The 32-year-old actress declined to comment at first, but later said: 'Accidents do happen, it's part of my job. As a responsible artiste, I will do my best for my future projects.'
Carole will need to undergo two more months of physiotherapy.
Yet another artiste told of how they were once yelled at during a rehearsal.
The artiste said there appeared to be much concern over a prop being used for the stunt because it was sponsored.
Also, the production crew and artistes have been ticked off for joking and laughing on set.
Said an artiste: '(We were told to) act sad and not to laugh or joke or show that we are enjoying ourselves. Otherwise, it will 'cover' the sombre mood wanted for the show.'
The artiste also claimed that some of the emotional displays during the show are actually scripted.
'Before each show, the organisers will talk to us. They will tell us to say things like 'I want you to call'. Because we are stars, our fans will heed our call and start donating.'
A source, who has worked with Mr Durai, said: 'He is very concerned about the show and will not hesistate to inject more excitement into the show.'
NKF's deputy director of communications Michelle Ang told The New Paper: 'In light of the situation, we would like to wait for the new management to be in place before we answer further queries.'
Despite their misgivings, the artistes say they would still carry on performing.
'We want to do it for the patients at least. If we don't do it, they get nothing.'
Added another artiste: 'I care more about the patients.'
And yet another artiste: 'It's just a job. We are not saints... We can't save the world.'