3 Oct – Hong Kong Joe Tay (also known as Joe Cheng) could neither deny nor confirm rumours that his contract with TVB has not been renewed due to his support for the Hong Kong protest.
As reported on Mingpao, the actor took to Facebook to explain the situation, saying that TVB originally approached him in May to renew his contract, which was expiring in July, and that both parties have even agreed to the terms.
However, due to some family affairs and other projects, he did not put the pen on paper immediately.
Joe also stated that he didn't receive any other work arrangements at the time due to the fact that the fate of his new series, "Finding Her Voice" was yet to be determined.
He later received a notice from the producers to shoot a promo for the said drama, which will premiere in October, but wasn't able to do it as he was going to Toronto to bring his mother back to Hong Kong at the time.
"I was asked if I felt that my contract was not renewed because of my political opinion on social media and participation in the protests. My response would be 'I would rather choose to believe that the company is neutral'. Therefore, it is fair to say that I cannot confirm this statement. I can only say that I have not received any notice of renewal," he wrote.
Joe also stressed that there are many reasons for a company not to renew a contract, like cost control, reduction of local production, too many actors, poor acting, and others.
"I am giving the benefit of the doubt to TVB. No company will [make such a decision] based on [someone's] personal feelings and opinion about the society. It is the most natural thing for Hong Kong people to express their views about Hong Kong," he added.
Joe also stated that he is grateful for what he has achieved and learned, and for the friends he made throughout his time with TVB.
"Finding Her Voice will be aired soon and I am looking forward to it. The reason is simple. The story is very inspirational and everyone has worked hard. Some of them have even become good friends because of this drama. I personally hope that everybody will support this drama," he added.
(Photo Source: Joe Tay Instagram)