Future of ‘Noose’ stars Barbarella, Leticia and Lulu uncertain
[Update June 17, 9:30 pm: MediaCorp has clarified that the characters played by Michelle Chong from The Noose have not been decommissioned]
Following an online outcry over popular Noose characters Barbarella, Leticia and Lulu being allegedly banned from reappearing, MediaCorp has clarified that this is not the case.
"The characters played by Michelle Chong from The Noose have never been disallowed, or decommissioned by MediaCorp. As shown in the recent TV advertisement, these characters will always be given due consideration as and when commercial interests arise," said it's Vice President for Channel 5's Branding and Promotions, Serene Choo.
Earlier this week, Singapore host/actress/director Michelle Chong had tweeted that MediaCorp had banned her from playing the much-loved SPG Barbarella, Filipino maid Leticia Bongnino and Chinese KTV hostess, Lulu on breakout Channel 5 comedy hit "The Noose".
Chong (@immichellechong) tweeted on Friday afternoon, "So what's this I hear about Mediacorp's Higher Management banning me from playing Barbarella from now on?"
The 36-year-old quickly followed that up with "They not gonna sell character license to anyone to use my characters anymore so no more Barbs, Leticia, Lulu etc anywhere." She added in Mandarin, "there's no need to be afraid if you have the ability".
So what's this I hear about Mediacorp's Higher Management banning me from playing Barbarella from now on? 有本事就不要怕!
— Michelle Chong (@imMichelleChong) June 14, 2013
They not gonna sell character license to anyone to use my characters anymore so no more Barbs, Leticia, Lulu etc anywhere. — Michelle Chong (@imMichelleChong) June 14, 2013
It's understood a disagreement between Chong and MediaCorp led to her leaving "The Noose" after Season 5. Season 6, which started airing in April, does not feature Chong.
As MediaCorp "own" and have the rights to those characters, it seems like Chong -- or anyone else for that matter -- will no longer be allowed to portray those characters in public anymore.
Commenting on their decision, Chong told Yahoo! Singapore, "I just feel disappointed because this doesn't seem like a decision that will benefit them either. It just seems slightly narrow-minded".
However, she made it clear she bears no ill will towards them.
"I'm not sure who makes these decisions but I have no animosity towards MediaCorp. In fact, I still work closely with certain departments in MediaCorp and I am truly grateful for the platform and creative freedom they have given me, and I am sure there will be opportunities in future where we will work together, content-wise."
After her departure from "The Noose", Chong continued to portray the much-loved characters in a series of property ads such the one below. No more it seems.
Which is a shame because Chong and her characters were a big part of why the Emmy-nominated "The Noose" was the best thing to come out of Channel 5 in recent years.
Chong, a former Asian Television Awards Best Comedy winner, has since branched out into directing with her first feature film, Already Famous, in 2011. She also has her own film production company and last year, started her own artiste management agency.
She is currently working on her latest movie, 3 Peas in a Pod, a coming-of-age movie about three university friends on a road trip, which will be out in November.
In the meantime though, here's a walk down memory lane of Barbarella and co's best moments.
Additional reporting by Jeanette Tan
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