Just like the last episode of Squid Game, the saga involving employees of Night Owl Cinematics and co-founder Sylvia Chan has taken an unexpected turn.
Unexpected because when an allegation gets levelled at a celebrity, this is what usually happens:
- Allegation emerges
- Netizens get outraged
- More allegations surface
- Celebrity apologises
This is where the story usually ends. But, evidently, the NOC saga has a fifth instalment:
5. A lengthy blog post with even more allegations and a leaked Zoom meeting is published online
That’s right, an entire website dedicated to Sylvia’s alleged abusive behaviour and mistreatment of employees at NOC has popped up on the internet.
The site and post were put up by a group of current and former NOC employees who said they have “exhausted all means of trying to get [their] voices heard in NOC”.
Titled #EndTheSilence: Speaking Up About NOC Sylvia’s Alleged Crimes, the lengthy post brings to light employees’ upsetting workplace encounters with the company’s co-founder.
Why the Ridout Road Colonial Houses Saga is Actually NOT a Saga:
Let’s go through them one by one.
Leaked Video of Zoom Meeting
Perhaps the most striking part of the blog post was the leaked video of a Zoom meeting between Sylvia, co-founder Ryan Tan, and several employees of NOC.
In the meeting, Ryan and a NOC employee try raising their concerns with Sylvia over staff’s high workload, late payments, as well as Sylvia’s management style. But Sylvia remains indifferent through the exchange, using her phone and smirking.
At one point, Ryan details for over five minutes the litany of complaints he’s received from NOC employees.
“I can tell you the day I say I quit a lot of people will quit,” Ryan says in the video. “Honestly speaking, this is not humane”.
Once again, Sylvia looks uninterested.
Have a look:
Alleged Failure to Remedy HR Issues
With so many employees lodging complaints against Sylvia, one employee, described as the “unofficial HR”, set up an anonymous survey for staff members to air their grievances.
“Staff members were assured that their names would be unrecorded, so as to ensure no prejudice or consequences would occur. Staff members could also choose for themselves who to provide feedback on,” the group said.
Some of these questions included:
- What does your supervisor need to do to improve his/ her performance?
- What actions can your employer take/ stop doing in order to build a better workplace
- How professionally does your supervisor behave?
- How likely is it that you would recommend your supervisor to a colleague?
However, it seems that even after the survey was carried out, the company didn’t take any steps to address the issues raised, such as improving the welfare of employees.
“Sylvia’s alleged feedback on this HR investigation was that she was not happy with the results of this survey as she found it to be biased,” it said.
Allegedly Made up Rumour to “Stir Sh*t”
In one instance, when the NOC team was producing up to 11 videos a week, Sylvia informed Ryan that “someone within the team” had been complaining to her about his incompetencies.
“As part of a scramble to ‘prove’ that the whistleblower was not within the 5-man team, the team members issued screenshots from their phones out of their own will to reassure each other,” the group wrote.
Ryan can be heard addressing this in the leaked Zoom meeting, where he accuses Sylvia of “stirring sh*t”. He insists on knowing who this “someone” is, and even though Sylvia allegedly said she’d reveal the identity of the person in the next meeting, she refused to name the person.
In the end, Sylvia said she’s the one who thinks Ryan is a bad leader.
Allegedly Used NOC’s Money For Rental Payment
According to the group, Sylvia’s rental payments for her home were borne by NOC.
“Sylvia had allegedly agreed earlier on with Ryan that she would return the rental expenses to the company. However, she has yet to do so and the finance staff was scolded after bringing up the issue multiple times and was told not to bring up the matter again,” it said.
It also provided a screenshot showing the amounts purportedly owed to the company.
“Many More Untold Stories Behind the Scenes”
The group published numerous other allegations on their blog post, including:
- allegedly fat-shaming an influencer
- allegedly misappropriating funds
- allegedly lying to Ryan about payment matters
- allegedly using NOC’s resources to fund personal ventures
- allegedly bartering sex for services
Those are very serious allegations that could potentially cause serious consequences to Sylvia, so unless we’re absolutely certain they’re true, we’re not going to list them down.
Let’s just say that it all sounds like a Hong Kong drama.
Towards the end of the post, the group noted that while Sylvia has apologised for her behaviour publicly and has been removed from the talent roster, she remains the CEO of NOC.
Saying that there are “many more untold stories behind the scenes”, the group asserted that Sylvia is no longer “morally competent to carry NOC to greater heights with the welfare of its people in her mind.”
“We hope that existing employees and talents making attempts to leave NOC can be allowed to do so without any agreement/contractual binding consequences or to be silenced, and for charges against Ryan and employees to be dropped (if any),” it said.
In the meantime, employees who are afraid of getting lawyer’s letters should also watch this to the end:
You can read the lengthy blog post here.
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