A reported estimate of 120,000 protesters dressed in black took to the streets to attend a rally led by HKTV staff members on Sunday, October 20.
Last Tuesday, two new Hong Kong television stations were issued with free-to-air licenses, but Ricky Wong’s (王維基) HKTV, which has produced over 10 television dramas and invested in over $900 million HKD in television operations in the last two years, failed to get the approval of the Hong Kong government.
According to a report on On.cc, supporters of HKTV demanded the government to give a reasonable explanation as to why HKTV’s license application was rejected. Despite the large number of protesters, official police reports state that around 20,000 people marched to the government office in Central from Causeway Bay.
Former TVB artists including Maggie Cheung Ho Yee (張可頤), Frankie Lam (林文龍),Yoyo Mung (蒙嘉慧), Rain Lau (劉玉翠), Shek Sau (石修), Ursule Wong (黃宇詩), Sam Chan (陳宇琛), and more were in attendance.
Current TVB artist and The Confidant <大太監> star Power Chan (陳國邦) attended the rally with his wife Mimi Lo (羅敏莊) and 1-year-old daughter Jan Chan (陳禛). Sheren Tang (鄧萃雯) did not march with her colleagues, but did upload a photo of herself dressed in black on Weibo, offering her support to the cause. Felix Wong (黃日華), Kenix Kwok (郭可盈), Ekin Cheng (鄭伊健), and Fala Chen (陳法拉) also declared their support.
Yoyo ended her contractual relationship with TVB in 2013; her last two dramas with the station were A Great Way to Care 2 <仁心解碼II> and the yet-to-air Ruse of Engagement <叛逃>.
She had agreed to film HKTV drama Web in the Sky <天網> with Frankie Lam. “I will always be part of TVB, but that’s not saying I want other stations to not do well. [I] want an open market to attract more competition. I don’t want any station to die,” said Yoyo.
Maggie Cheung said, “I am here as a resident of Hong Kong, to support the residents’ demands. I am expressing support for HKTV, to uphold the spirit of Hong Kong.” Though most of the demonstrators left after the rally ended, around 60 HKTV staff stayed outside the central government office, vowing to camp out in front of the office. They also urged supporters to boycott TVB and ATV.
Starting tomorrow, HKTV will broadcast its programs on the big television screen at the town square. Ricky Wong did not attend yesterday’s demonstration, but did release a statement, expressing his gratitude for the support Hong Kong citizens have given for HKTV.
He also stated, “Everyone is concerned about whether or not those in power are really respecting the wishes of the Hong Kong people, whether or not Hong Kong really follows its laws and institutions. [I] hope that, after today, everyone will be able to understand that Hong Kong needs to stick together. For Hong Kong, don’t let those with extreme minds of thought affect our own. We need to work together to maintain Hong Kong’s righteousness and lawfulness.”