Does Shane Pow Deserve A Second Chance?
Updated: May 30
30-year-old ex-Mediacorp actor Shane Pow was immediately dropped by Mediacorp, a local broadcasting station on 26 April after finding out that Pow was charged for drink driving on 22 April 2020.
Prior to the online revelation of his brush with the law, Mediacorp claimed in a statement that it was “unaware” Pow had been charged with drink driving, and promptly dropped the actor, emphasizing that they “do not condone any behaviour that runs afoul of the law.”
“We constantly remind our artistes that their fans and members of the public look to them as role models, and they are expected to behave as such."
Pow was allegedly reported to have 49 mcg of alcohol content in his breath, which exceeded the legal amount of 35 mcg back in 2020, on September 17. Mediacorp also claimed that Pow failed to have reported the matter to Mediacorp’s artiste management team.
This is not Pow’s first brush with the law.
Last year, Pow had also defied Covid-19 safe distancing measures in December 2020 when he attended fellow actor Jeffrey Xu’s birthday party but got away with a $300 fine.
In light of the accumulation of such issues, Mediacorp finally decided to part ways with Pow, a long time actor who is due to star in two upcoming dramas.
The dramas Pow are scheduled to appear in this year, Soul Old Yet So Young and The Heartland Hero will air as per normal in June and July respectively, as filming has been completed and the scripts have been written.
However, The Heartland Hero’s 130 episode run will see Pow being replaced by fellow actor James Seah, who was one of the 60 nominees for the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes award, is now slated to take over Pow for his second lead actor role in The Heartland Hero.
"We didn't want to destroy the original concept of the drama, so we don't want to include any scenes explaining to the audience why Shane has become James,” said executive producer Leong Lye Lin in an interview with The Straits Times.
With the recent string of catastrophes that have followed Pow since last year, he might seem to be in an unfortunate plight.
However, every silver cloud has a silver lining and the same can be said for Pow.
In light of Pow’s bumpy career so far this year, veteran host and actor Mark Lee stepped forward in an interview with local media outlet Shin Min Daily News on 27 April 2021 to say that if Pow willing, Lee would be “willing to give Pow a chance to sign with them”.
Lee’s production company King Kong Media Production is home to many artistes such as his Money No Enough and The Best Bet co-stars Henry Thia and Marcus Chin.
In the interview, Lee praised Pow’s good looks and acting, and continued on to say that ‘everyone deserves a second chance”.
Citing Pow’s senior and colleague Christopher Lee who was similarly in hot water for drink driving, Lee said, Just look at Christopher who bravely faced the music all those years ago. Isn't his career doing very well now? Everyone needs a second chance."
Lee seems to think that everybody makes mistakes, and as long as one learns from it, the person in the wrong should deserve a second chance.
Tracing Pow’s History: A Second Chance?
While Lee presents a more optimistic view for Pow and opens his doors to welcome the actor should he be willing, his forgiveness thesis is completely opposite to Mediacorp’s stance on Pow’s misdemeanours.
By immediately terminating Pow’s contract, Mediacorp stood true to its claim that, “We constantly remind our artistes that their fans and members of the public look to them as role models, and they are expected to behave as such.”
Mediacorp immediately cut off all ties with Pow who failed to conduct himself as a role model to Singapore audiences, which reflected their view that celebrities were a sort of moral guide to the audience.
However, with the jarring discrepancies between Lee’s optimism and Mediacorp’s heavy-handed treatment of Pow’s situation, the question of whether Pow deserves a second chase or not comes into play.
Pow is a 30-year-old adult who has the capacity to act appropriately in accordance in the law, but in this instance, he has shown disregard for the drink driving laws in Singapore.
This is not his first case of drink driving. Back in 2014, Pow was similarly convicted of drink driving on 30 July, which clearly reflects a pattern of behaviour, perhaps a disregard for the law, or to show that he has not learnt from his past mistakes.
Pow’s more recent brush of the law, attending Jeffrey Xu’s birthday party despite the authorities’ consistent emphasis on the Covid-19 safety distancing measures adds to the notion that Pow simply lacks any consideration for the law.
While Lee’s optimism for Pow’s career is heartening, the pattern of inconsiderate behaviour Pow exhibits with regards to the law simply shows that he should be held accountable for his dangerous actions, and thus shouldn’t be privileged over the average Joe in having a second chance just because of his “good looks and acting”.
Article written by Michelle Ang