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Former kids program host places second in Mr Gay HK despite employer’s opposition

Former kids program host places second in Mr Gay HK despite employer’s opposition

A TV artiste has come second in Mr Gay Hong Kong 2013, after making his way through the broadcaster employer’s disaproval.

Tommy Leung, who used to co-host a kids program, finished behind American teacher Michael Morrill, but was crowned Mr Popularity, Best in Swimwear and Best in Formal Wear.

The 23-year-old said ATV – one of the city’s only two free-to-air broadcasters – had tried to prevent him from joining the pageant. Leung felt he was repressed, but ATV refused to terminate their employment contract ahead of time.

‘During my work time, I often face discrimination,’ Leung told judges on Saturday (19 Oct). ‘There are even harassments, with some people making really nasty remarks that depress me.’

‘I am standing up now to say no to workplace discrimination for both myself and my Tongzhi [gay] friends,’ he said.

ATV has not responded to Gay Star News’ enquiries concerning the allegations, but Anshuman Das, a spokesman for the competition, told GSN they have ‘never had any such case in the past.’

Both Leung and Das refuse to disclose further details, even as lawyers take over the case.

Leung told local media he is not afraid of not getting any job opportunities in the future. Some colleagues also turned up at the competition venue to show their solidarity, including one who worked with Leung in ‘Q&A Lessons’.

‘Some [of my] gay friends are quite charming,’ Grace Cheung, another workmate, quipped. ‘I have come to have a look even if I can’t have them.’

Homosexuality is a topic both ATV and its dominant competitor TVB rarely touch on in their programs.

When gay characters are included, they are often based on stereotypes, if not malicious or psychopathic altogether.

After years of deliberation, the local government announced last week to issue two more FTA licenses to two existing cable broadcasters.

But its decision to skip over the third and most beloved applicant, HKTV, partly to save the ailing ATV from excessive competition, drove up to 80,000 to the streets yesterday.

While ATV has resorted to re-airing its age-old programs to save money, HKTV was forking out a handsome amount to learn from American TV production, including in its pipelines a gay TV series. It would be the first of its kind in the city, if eventually produced.

Event Highlights:

Organizers talk about what they are looking for in Mr Gay HK