Mon, Nov 29, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Actor protests being passed over for TV award

STAFF WRITER

Chien Chang, first left, and Chang Chen-kuang, first right, clap during the Golden Bell Awards ceremony on Friday at Taipei's Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Chang was named this year's best lead actor, while Chien, a contender for the award, could not reconcile himself with the result.

PHOTO: CHEN YI-CHUAN, TAIPEI TIMES

An agent for veteran actor Chien Chang (檢場) yesterday filed a complaint against the Golden Bell Awards authorities, saying that they passed over Chien for the best lead actor award at Friday's awards ceremony because they took his Taiwanese language ability for granted.

"After our inquiry with jury members through various channels, [we concluded that] the reason why actor Chang Chen-kuang (張晨光) won the lead actor award was because of his recent improvement in speaking Taiwanese to perform in the Taiwanese-language TV drama," said Lin Chih-yuan (林志遠), Chien's agent from IDSON Communication Corp.

"Since Chien and Chang are both Mainlanders, apparently the jury took for granted that fact the Chien has been able to speak Taiwanese fluently, while they valued highly Chang's newly improved ability in speaking the language," Lin added.

Lin raised several points questioning the jury's fairness in granting Chang this year's best lead actor award.

"First, Chang was not even nominated in the first round, but because one of the jurors -- who was not at all familiar with soap operas -- liked his acting, he was then nominated in the second round," Lin said.

Second, Taiwanese-language abilities should not be a factor when choosing between Chien and Chang, Lin said.

"Third, juror qualifications were questionable, and their backgrounds varied greatly, including some people who have detached themselves from the entertainment business for a long time," Lin said.

A jury chief recognized and praised Chang's remarkable improvement both in acting and language skills in Friday's ceremony.

Chi Lung-jen (齊隆任), chairman of the Golden Bell Awards panel, pointed out on Friday that the primary reason why Chang won the award was the significant breakthrough in his acting skills.

"Chang was not able to speak Taiwanese in the past, and now he acts with ease in Taiwanese, offering an excellent performance," Chi was quoted by a local newspaper as saying.

But it was so hard for Chien to swallow his defeat that he wept after the announcement of the winner of the lead actor award.

"I have been able to speak good Taiwanese from the very beginning, while Chang managed to pick up the language only recently," Chien said.

Chien's acting in Da-Ai Television's production of the drama Quartet has won public acclaim and he was regarded as the most likely winner of this year's best lead actor award. The jury's pick surprised many people, and Chien was defeated by Chang by a mere two votes. Lin Chia-li (林嘉俐), who also starred in Quartet, received this year's best supporting actress award.

Chang won the title for his role in the TV drama dubbed High Noon produced by Formosa TV.

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