Last week, Singapore publication Must Share News (MS News) broke the news that Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) had apparently listed its office in Yishun for sale on CommercialGuru. Today, the Must Share News team have more tea to spill on Sylvia Chan.
MS News was able to sit down with several people who used to work in NOC – managers, video editors, producers and talents – to get their side of the story, particularly on CEO Sylvia. According to them, a total of 54 employees have resigned from NOC between Oct 2020 to Oct 2021.
In a Whatsapp screenshot dated 21st September 2018, Sylvia had apparently expressed hatred for ex-husband Ryan Tan and controversial public figure Dee Kosh’s work behaviour. Among the words used on them include “f**king egoistic”, “f**king want to be well loved”, and “f**king poor without me”. But what’s more alarming is her comment on Ryan becoming her staff once the divorce is settled.
Although Ryan and Sylvia promised to continue being close business partners in their divorce video, the former NOC team revealed that it was a far cry from what actually transpired. As you may already know, Ryan had already resigned as NOC’s director and has not been involved in the company since May 2021. Sylvia had also served legal letters to Ryan on matters that were not disclosed. Some suggest that it might be about the ownership of Food King and Reno King.
Team Ryan or Team Sylvia?
Felicia told MS News that employees were forced to take a side after the divorce as “you were either for or against her”. She shared that her unexpected appraisal was conducted by Sylvia and another employee, without her direct supervisor Ryan present at the meeting. Ultimately, Felicia believes her appraisal was “pre-planned” to remove her after she took Ryan’s side in a previous meeting.
Felicia also shared that there would be consequences if one wasn’t on Sylvia’s good side. Talents would either “lose favour”, “blacklisted and not get cast for videos and shoots” or be omitted from NOC’s advertising kits.
MS News noted that since September 2021, Samantha, Isabelle, Nicole, Grace and Chantelle were no longer featured in the media kit. Isabelle also claimed that she only realised that she wasn’t in the media kit anymore after a client had directly informed her.
Videographer Bryant Lee
Many of you may have already heard the leaked audio clip of Sylvia calling Samantha Tan “f**king dumb” and planning her exit. In this 7-second clip, Sylvia tells Bryant, “You have 30 mins before the whole world crashes on you and you f**king die”. For context, Bryant was racing against time to finish up NOC’s charitable video for the #SGPAYSITFORWARD campaign.
Ryan Tan fighting for the staffs
In their statement on #EndTheSilence, the group of NOC representative wrote:
“Evidently from the Zoom meeting, Ryan and his team gave their all to fight for the improvement of employee welfare, including but not limited to unreasonably large amounts of workload and the inhumanely long working hours stretching till 5am or later for years. However, it all seemed to be falling on deaf ears, with Sylvia looking disinterested and using her phone or reacting unconstructively. Unfortunately, this has just been one of many occurrences where our voices have been shut down and there has been no conclusions nor improvements.
The employees (both past and present) have put their blood, sweat, and tears into NOC and it is not our intention to bring it down. If anything, all we do want is for Sylvia to be accountable for her misdeeds and mistreatment. Disappointed with the statements she released, and knowing even then she was unmoved, this is our last resort. We are only a few of Sylvia’s victims, and we feel that if we still choose to keep silent, she will continue getting her way, possibly worse, and there will be even more casualties.”
NOC demanding staff compliance
On 11th October, present and former NOC employees were issued a notice (signed by Sylvia) demanding their compliance and the requirement to get NOC’s consent before conducting any external communication. Grace, Isabelle, and Nicole confirmed this on their personal IG Stories.
To get the full scoop, check out MS News’ exposé here.