Somehow, Malaysian influencer Cathryn Li (李元玲) is still drawing a lot of flames. What started as a jab at her piano skills has evolved into an evaluation of her work ethic.
A film producer and a talent manager have both spoken up about working with Cathryn. Of course, the 31-year-old has spoken out to defend herself.
In case you didn’t know, Cathryn has an impressive skill set. Aside from being Insta-famous, being a skilled pianist, and excelling in ballet, she has also acted in several films like “Special Female Force”, “Wira Wah” and “Hungry Ghost Ritual”. Local film producer Jack Lee, who claims to have worked with Cathryn before, recently made a post on Facebook detailing his experiences with her.
He stated that the pair met ten years ago in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya. She was apparently late by two hours and eventually ended up missing the appointment. Cathryn called Jack later to apologise and offered to meet him at Mid Valley for lunch. Jack stressed that the conversation was “quite pleasant”. He later arranged for her to participate in a film audition held in Beijing where she was selected for a role. As she would be required for rehearsals, Jack stated that he arranged for her to live with a friend and his wife. However, she went back before the movie was filmed.
That wasn’t the only time she was late apparently. Jack disclosed that when Li Lichi, director of “Heroes of Hua Xia” (华夏英雄) was scheduled to meet Cathryn, she was again, two hours late. Although the director was unhappy with her tardiness, Cathryn did show up in the end. Jack was concerned about her tardiness affecting their schedule, so he suggested replacing Cathryn. The two were on the outs after they informed her about the matter. After the film was done, the matter was supposedly over.
Her next film endeavor was “Special Female Force” directed by Wilson Chin. Jack claimed that Wilson was optimistic about her in the beginning but after the filming, her screen time in the movie had been greatly reduced. Jack stated that it was because Cathryn did not “cooperate with a lot of publicity“. She was also slated to be involved with “Operation Mekong”, playing the role of a drug addict raped by Eddie Peng. However, Cathryn was later blocked from auditioning further via a notice from the film company.
Jack admitted that he was attracted to her, saying “…any man who contacts her for the first time will be attracted by her appearance.” He criticised her, stating, “(She has a good) family background and (music skills), but God is very fair and gave her a (self-centered) personality (that is unable to take criticism), which directly and indirectly offends many people.” He claimed that her work attitude has caused the crews who’ve worked with her to avoid her. As such, being an online celebrity might suit her better. Jack also said it is normal for many guys on the Internet to like her and for many girls to dislike her, but she doesn’t understand why.
“Cathryn has no major problems (disregarding her work ethics),” Jack wrote. “But her ego is too big and she does not know how to get along with others.” He believes that “the boys around her will spoil her and follow her temper“, making her into the person she is today. Apparently her “beautiful appearance will easily bring job opportunities and unnecessary troubles“, especially in the entertainment industry. Jack stated that having high EQ is important, and emotional intelligence also happens to be Cathryn’s biggest weakness. As such, there is consistent turmoil.
Talent manager Janry Siew however, decided to put her two cents in about the matter to help clear Cathryn’s name. She called the producer out for slandering Cathryn, stating it was unnecessary and that his experiences did not represent everyone’s feelings. Janry then revealed that previously, Jack had “promised to attend the film promotion of his own production, but at the last minute the team canceled the attendance, forgetting that others were (helping for free). He took the publicity expenses and arranged it for him.” She stated he “only cared about his own interests” and didn’t apologise for the slight. “I can only say it is better to judge yourself first,” she said primly. Janry also joked that being late is better than not showing up at all.
Janry then shared her experience working with Cathryn. According to her, the influencer was not late to meetings, and she showed no unwillingness or tantrum throwing when she auditioned for the same scene three times. Janry also stressed that the staff can testify to Cathryn never being late, being cooperative and trying her best to finish her performance. However, she does admit to not knowing about other shootings. For her personally, Janry has had no problems cooperating with Cathryn. “Everyone has faults, and people will also change, depending on whether they become worse or better. Why can’t you tolerate someone who wants to become better?” she asked.
Cathryn supposedly responded twice to Jack’s allegations. Officially, she stated that she was not used to being in the entertainment industry, especially in China. She also claimed that she was young, used to getting her way and didn’t know how to “be smooth“. Cathryn declared that she is not heartless, and that her former agent Jersey Chong can testify for her. She thanked everyone for their guidance and clarified that there is no bad blood between her and director Wilson Chin. However, she did not deny the “Operation Mekong” ban. She added that she hopes “everyone will stop spreading false statements and speculation that hurt (her)“. Cathryn wants the gossip to stop as she doesn’t want to occupy public resources anymore.
In a more personal post, Cathryn viscously defended herself from Jack’s accusations claiming Jack had arranged for her to accompany investors while they drank and also to bed. She again stated her former agent Jersey Chong would be able to testify for her. As she refused to obey Jack, they had a falling out and he has kept a grudge against her all this while. Cathryn claimed that this was why he came out with his story while the heat was still on her even though it was more than 10 years ago. As for her role in “Special Female Force”, she stated that those who have watched the movie will know she is heavily involved in the film. She affirmed her good relationship with Wilson Chin and stated “no unpleasant cooperation incidents” have been circulated on the Internet. “But. I understand the reason why this producer wants to make (his story) so popular, as everyone knows,” she added.
We may probably never know who’s telling the truth (unless someone else starts talking), but we’ve certainly had enough drama to last us a lifetime!