Mediacorp actress pay cut: Widespread age discrimination?

Source: micamonkey/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0Source: micamonkey/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I refer to George Chiang’s article “MEDIACORP CONCERNED AND INVESTIGATING JIN YINJI CONTRACT ISSUE” (thesingaporestuff, Jun 2).

It states that “Mediacorp has reacted to reports carried yesterday on the shambles that was the contract negotiation between them and the 70 year old actress, Jin Yinji. Mediacorp issued a statement saying that they are gravely concerned about the reports of how they conducted the contract negotiations, and they are investigating.

Reports yesterday indicated that Jin was asked to take a pay cut of two-thirds or more, and she also recalled a conversation in which she was told the company would rather hire a $50-an-hour bit player. Mediacorp confirmed they have reached out to Jin to understand and address the issue, although they cannot go into details as contract negotiations are confidential. Jin has also been given parts in two new upcoming Channel 8 drama.

It’s funny that Mediacorp are investigating themselves over the contract negotiations saga, and the supposed remarks made to her. Wonder if this would even happen if the issue was not widely publicised. Can only hope this will end with a positive outcome to all involved.

From thesingaporestuff’s facebook posting – “Mediacorp investigating themselves? Sounds funny and unbelievable. Much like their dramas”.

Mediacorp: Hurtful remark was made to Jin Yinji more than 10 years ago” (Straits Times, Jun 2) – “Mediacorp said on Friday that a hurtful remark recounted by its former artiste Jin Yinji during an interview was made more than 10 years ago, and not during their contract talks last year.

Mediacorp’s head of studios, Ms Doreen Neo, said in a statement: “The media reports about our contract negotiations with actress Jin Yinji are a matter of grave concern for us and we have investigated the specific remarks reported.”

She said it understood from Jin that the hurtful remark was “a passing comment made by someone who had no authority to discuss hiring, over casual conversation that took place some 10 years ago”.

Jin had previously spoken to Zaobao for a zbNow cover story published on Wednesday. After she read the story, she called and thanked the reporter, choking back her tears. On Thursday, she thanked Zaobao again for drawing attention to the treatment of veteran actors.”

Ex-Mediacorp actress Jin Yinji says she was not shown respect during contract talks” (Straits Times, Jun 1) – “Recalling her last year with her former employer Mediacorp, veteran actress Jin Yinji said she was shown no respect during contract talks but has since let it go.”

This may not the first time that something similar to this has happened.

Look at the following possibilities”-

“(News) Actress Huang Biren quits MediaCorp over salary

SHE’S the most acclaimed actress on Caldecott Hill, with three Best Actress wins to her name. And her new drama role was a challenging one which she felt she could excel in.

So why did Huang Biren quit acting?

That’s the question that many are asking, after news got out on Monday that the veteran actress has left MediaCorp – to become a full-time mother.

Fans have been waiting eagerly for her to make a TV comeback, after she gave birth to her daughter Janessa on 6 Mar.

Biren herself told The New Paper over the phone yesterday that she was prepared to return to acting after three months of maternity leave.

But MediaCorp did not offer her a salary package that she felt she deserved, she said.

Biren was supposed to renew her contract in May. But the new offer did not meet her expectations, and she felt “disappointment”, she said.

The 39-year-old actress declined to give details, but said she didn’t have to take a pay cut.

The New Paper understands that an artiste’s salary package is determined by her perceived market value and number of work hours.

Leaving hasn’t been an easy decision for her, said Biren, who has been acting for 20 years since graduating from school.

“It was a struggle, I thought about it even when I was in bed. But when the time came to make a decision, I had to be firm.”

She doesn’t mind doing ad-hoc TV projects later, as acting is still her biggest passion.”

In this connection, is there widespread age discrimination in Singapore?

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.