SINGAPORE - Actress Sora Ma has alleged bullying by a veteran actor, becoming the latest local artiste claiming to have encountered such mistreatment in the industry.
In an interview with Shin Min Daily News, the 37-year-old said that it took place while she was filming the long-running television series 118 II (2016 to 2017).
Ma declined to identify the actor, but said she began to realise something was wrong when the person treated her as "transparent".
She said, for example, that the actor would talk to other co-workers during meals but would "skip" her as if she did not exist, or would suddenly drop into conversations inexplicable comments like "Sora Ma, I am not talking about you".
Ma initially thought this was because the actor was too immersed in his or her role. But the situation did not improve after two months and she felt the atmosphere on set was weird.
"I don't know what I did wrong. Did I say something wrong? Did I offend the veteran actor?" wondered Ma, who will appear in upcoming Mediacorp English drama This Land Is Mine alongside Rebecca Lim and Pierre Png.
Ma, who had many scenes in 118 II, said she tried her best not to let her unease affect the filming.
However, she could not hold back her tears when she returned to her car after a shoot. She said she was upset for between two weeks to a month afterwards.
She told Shin Min that she asked another veteran actor, Chen Hanwei, for help as she was concerned her emotions would affect filming on subsequent days.
"Brother Hanwei is a senior who watched me enter the industry," she said. "He mediated for me immediately after he heard what I said."
"He told me later that I didn't do anything wrong and it was perhaps because my acting style was different from what the other party had thought."
She said the veteran actor's attitude towards her improved after Chen's intervention, though she was no clearer as to what the issue was.
Ma's allegations came after TV presenter Dasmond Koh, co-founder of NoonTalk Media, asked on social media on Monday (April 12) what had happened between actor Elvin Ng and actress Angel Lim, a NoonTalk artiste, on the set of the drama Heart To Heart (2018 to 2019).
Koh did not give details when approached by Lianhe Wanbao, saying only that Lim's emotions had been affected by Ng's words and actions during filming, souring relations between them.
The series of bullying allegations started when Ng revealed on a talk show last week that he had been bullied by a Taiwanese co-star in a TV drama.
The Taiwanese actor was later identified by the media to be Patrick Lee, who later hit back at Ng’s allegations.
According to Wanbao, broadcaster Mediacorp has intervened and expressed the hope that both sides can resolve the matter in private.
Ng's manager also told Wanbao they have contacted NoonTalk to understand more details of the matter.
Ma said that Ng, who also acted in 118 II, knew about how she was being treated at the time and felt it was strange too.