An off-shoot of Tyra Banks’s popular reality TV show, Asia’s Next Top Model was mainly filmed here in Singapore with an exceptional local team working behind-the-scenes.
Unfortunately, these veteran freelancers, including the director and the makeup unit, have been shoddily treated: 35 of them are still being owed their wages by Ice-TV, the production company, despite production having been wrapped up more than 2 months ago. And these are just the people who have come forward; there are others who have chosen not to pursue this openly. The show is scheduled to air soon, the conspicuous outstanding payments notwithstanding. Incredible, no?
It’s appalling because the crew had toiled for more than 6 weeks straight, 10 hours a day, with the time often stretching beyond that. I know a few of them – they’re some of the sweetest and most talented folks in the industry who, being who they are, make me feel indignant about this issue (hence this post), though I’m an outsider. They are people you’ll want on your production team: Gifted and dedicated, they commit fully to their shoots, pouring their heart and soul into them.
Since the last day of the shoot, Ice-TV has reneged on payment and made short shrift of the crew’s repeated requests to be paid their wages. A downright travesty, given how they’d worked their asses off for the production!
By all accounts, this spin-off series is well-made, with problems mostly at the upper management level. A shame, really, considering that lesser shows are plagued with mishaps on set. Surely these people who have laboured together to deliver a stellar show should be given due respect and more importantly, be paid what’s rightfully owed to them?
It’s ludicrous that the program should be mired in this distasteful money-mess – with big names behind it, one would not have expected the crew to be treated in this manner. It isn’t surprising then that the show, which could have been wholly laudable, is now shrouded in a miasma of disappointment and ire. How disgraceful it is that the errant production company has forgotten that without the crew, there would be no show.
Image sources: Asia’s Next Top Model and PSD Graphics