In the wake of actor Shane Pow's drink-driving charge, which saw him being dropped by Mediacorp, veteran actor-comedian Mark Lee has said he is open to signing the 29-year-old actor.
Pow was charged last Thursday (April 22) with drink driving, his second such offence. Mediacorp announced on Monday that it is terminating his contract.
In an interview with Chinese-language paper Shin Min Daily News on Tuesday, Lee, 52, who praised Pow for his acting and looks, said: "If (Pow) doesn't mind joining our company, I'm willing to give him a chance to sign with us."
Lee started a production house, King Kong Media Production, in 2017 and has local artistes such as Marcus Chin and Henry Thia signed to the company.
Lee said he was not surprised by Mediacorp's move to drop Pow. He added that drink driving is a serious matter, especially if it is a repeat offence, and "those involved need to learn their lesson and not do it again".
When asked about how he would have handled the situation if one of his artistes had been involved in such an incident, he said: "I would hold a press conference and ask the artiste to make a public apology and bow at 90 degrees three times.
"There is no need to evade or hide. Once the press has asked all the questions, there will be nothing left to ask."
Pow has not broken his silence so far.
Lee also brought up the case of top actor Christopher Lee, 49, who was convicted of drink driving in 2007 and sentenced to six weeks in jail: "Just look at Mingshun (Christoper Lee's Chinese name) who bravely faced the music all those years ago. Isn't his career doing very well now? Everyone needs a second chance."
In addition to Pow's drink-driving charge, which he did not divulge to Mediacorp, the actor was also recently found to have breached Covid-19 safe management measures in a high-profile case involving a number of actors in October 2020 and fined.
He has two upcoming dramas, Soul Old Yet So Young, which has wrapped and will air in June, and 130-episode series The Heartland Hero, which is still in production.
In a report in Chinese-language daily Lianhe Wanbao on Tuesday, the producers of The Heartland Hero are said to be in discussion over Pow's role as the second male lead.
As the scripts for the first 100 episodes are already written, it will be difficult to rewrite and kill him off. Also, there are two months' worth of filming already completed.
Hence, one of the options being considered is to have another actor take over his role mid-series.
According to Wanbao, if this happens, it would be the first time in local television history.