Tensions are rising as 25th September draws nearer. After all, the date marks the highly anticipated finals of this year’s Miss Hong Kong pageant. From having early favourites to an alleged leaked list of winners before the event even had their semi-finals, it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride for the pageant. Unfortunately, the woes aren’t over.
During a recent Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) meeting, a member brought up her concerns regarding the competition’s swimsuit section. She attributed the section to increasing levels of sex and violence in the media. Her statement caused an outcry from TVB with the station threatening legal action.
This year’s IPCC meeting took place on 20th September and was live streamed to the public. During the meeting, a member and former senior government official, Helen Yu Lai Ching-ping shared her concerns. Helen initially spoke about how there was more “gratuitous violence and sex scenes” in the media, linking it with the increase in child abuse cases. She then added that the broadcasting authorities needed to tighten regulations regarding such issues.
“Even for this Miss Hong Kong pageant,” she said. “You can see that they (the participants) are scantily dressed. It is ok to wear less clothing, you can do so for swimming. But why should they be wearing bikinis when answering questions in an air-conditioned room with someone like Eric Tsang (the pageant host) staring at you? I really do not understand.” Helen also urged relevant authorities to review the pageant’s guidelines.
This prompted TVB to release a statement yesterday (21st September) to respond to the remark. The statement claimed that an individual had made “malicious and false accusations against a senior executive”. They also pointed out that the remarks seemed targeted as the person did not cite beauty pageants held by other TV stations.
Additionally, the station claimed that linking Miss Hong Kong with the topic of sex and violence was unethical, misleading and irresponsible. “It is also disrespectful and maliciously (slanders) the ladies who participated in the Miss Hong Kong Pageant,” the statement read.
It went on to claim that the station is aware of their social responsibilities and business regulation issues, promising that they have always abided by the General Code of Practice on Television. Finally, they added that they will take legal action against false accusations, as it is their right to do so.
Helen later informed the media that she was only adding to the discussion of protecting vulnerable witnesses. Her intentions were to express that more departments should be cooperating with the effort. However, she did not mention dealing with legal action from TVB.
Watch the full discussion here, with Helen’s remarks starting at 28.40: