Gabriel explained how the contract puts most artistes at a disadvantage, saying: “If your salary is based on just one show where you were paid HK$3,000 (S$520), then at the end of your contract, [your long service payment] will be calculated based on that HK$3,000.”
This has helped to greatly reduce TVB’s cost of labour.
Gabriel added that many “green leaf actors”, a term for older supporting actors who may not necessarily be as famous but are still recognised by regular viewers, don’t have much bargaining power and usually have no choice but to renew their contracts as they may have limited options outside of TVB.
On the other hand, those who are able to will naturally go out to seek better opportunities, so TVB has lost a lot of artistes who are skilled, experienced, and/or very popular with audiences.
In the end, those who stay are left to support the newcomers, and the lack of more established stars in their 30s and 40s supposedly entices less people to tune into TVB productions, causing a drop in viewership (but, uh, what about these highly paid A-listers?).
“So all the disastrous consequences that TVB has created today were all planted back then,” said Gabriel. “As the saying goes, every cause has an effect.”
Wonder if TVB general manager Eric Tsang will have anything to say about this.