Chinese actress Huang Shengyi, who shot to fame for her leading role in Hong Kong director and actor Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle, told Shanghai Morning Post on Saturday afternoon she had ended her eight-year agreement with Chow's Star Overseas Ltd.
Huang complained that she could not stand to work with the company any longer even though the agent contract had only been implemented for two years. Star Overseas Ltd. signed her for television series and CD contracts without her consent and often forced her to honor the contracts as a reward for acting in Kung Fu Hustle 2.
Rumors started appearing on the Sina Web site Saturday, saying that Huang's agent company had decided to stop finding work for her after she posed for the cover of a male-oriented magazine in a bikini without informing the company. Her image of a pretty and innocent girl designed by the agent company was destroyed. One of Huang's potential commercials was cancelled because of the incident, causing a loss of over 1 million yuan (US$12.3 million).
In the telephone interview, Huang expressed that she had made a firm decision to leave the company, no matter what price she had to pay, even if she had to quit acting completely.
Huang said she was forced to act as the heroines in some commercials. Even at the final stage of graduation, she was reluctant to play in a kung fu TV series but had to sign as the company locked her in the office. She said she became worried and unhappy after signing in the company.
Huang also complained that though she was an actress from the mainland, there was no assistant in the company to take the charge for her in inland cities. Furthermore, the company was not responsible enough as it had promised to have more roles for her in Kung Fu Hustle 2.
Huang told the newspaper that she had consulted lawyers to send a letter to the company. She said she had asked to end the contract a month ago, which was not agreed immediately by the company. However, she further explained, it did not mean that she was unsatisfied with Stephen Chow, whom she would always respect.
Wei Dashen, a chief at the managing department of Star Overseas Ltd. told Shanghai Morning Post that the company had not received the formal notice to end the contract yet and they would respond according to the law.
Wei explained that the company had never forced Huang to do anything, and there were always personnel to negotiate contracts for Huang in inland cities. He also pointed out that as an actress from the mainland, Huang might not adapt to the Hong Kong work style.
He said Chow had already been informed but refused to give any comment on Chow's response.
(Shenzhen Daily August 8, 2005)