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Production firm Night Owl Cinematics calls employee abuse allegations a ‘massive’ smear campaign

SINGAPORE — Hitting out against the recent spate of allegations that one of its co-founders had mistreated an employee, production company Night Owl Cinematics said that they were a “massive crusade against the public image and reputation” of the company and its staff members.

Ms Sylvia Chan and Mr Ryan Tan, YouTube personalities and founders of Night Owl Cinematics.

Ms Sylvia Chan and Mr Ryan Tan, YouTube personalities and founders of Night Owl Cinematics.

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SINGAPORE — Hitting out against the recent spate of allegations that one of its co-founders had mistreated an employee, production company Night Owl Cinematics said that they were a “massive crusade against the public image and reputation” of the company and its staff members.

The company added in a statement that was put up on its Instagram account on Monday (Oct 11) that the allegations, which were published on social media, were “cherry-picked abstract communications between private individuals carefully showcased to paint a wholly negative picture”. 

Night Owl Cinematics was founded by Singapore YouTube personalities Sylvia Chan and Ryan Tan. It became the subject of a string of accusations that were posted on the account of an Instagram user called Sgcickenrice.

The Instagram user had published, among others, various anonymous and unverified allegations that Ms Chan, 33, had been verbally abusive towards one of the company’s employees, as well as purportedly leaked audio recordings of such episodes.

The earliest post, which is a screenshot of an unnamed individual casting aspersions on Ms Chan’s character, was dated Oct 1.

Night Owl Cinematics, which is known for producing YouTube videos featuring young Singaporean talents doing comedy and other lifestyle shows, has also received several scathing reviews on jobs portal Glassdoor. One comment from earlier this year described the workplace as “toxic”.

The resulting backlash against Night Owl Cinematics due to these online activities has led to at least one company, oral care products supplier Colgate, terminating its collaboration with the production house. 

Colgate said in response to a comment on its Instagram account that “even though the allegations are still under investigation, we decided to terminate all related collaborations with (Sylvia Chan)”.

In its statement, Night Owl Cinematics said that since it was set up, it has “persevered to create a safe environment” for its artistes and employees.

It added that it provides both its artistes and employees “equal access to the tools for success while learning and growing with them”.

It also said that most of its artistes have “achieved immense follower-ship and credibility", with company-led opportunities to partner with top brands.

On the accusations, it chose not to make a hasty response to the “malicious allegations” because it needed to investigate the merits of what have been said.

“Having reviewed exhaustively, we believe that this is not the appropriate forum to address each of the scandalous allegations levelled at (Night Owl Cinematics) and its employees,” it said.

It added that the narrative published on social media “had one purpose”, which was to tarnish its reputation.

“We are advised that there have been serious breaches of the privacy laws and those responsible will be investigated by the authorities.”

Its lawyers are reviewing the matter and it wishes for the process of law to be "fair and full".

"We will not stoop (to) the level of our malicious attackers in providing the counter facts of the allegations against us as such information may be damaging and/or embarrassing for those involved."

Ms Chan did not respond to TODAY’s query on whether a police report has been filed and a request for her to address the allegations levelled against her.

However, in a post late Monday night, the Instagram user Sgcickenrice put up a series of images that showed that it had received a letter from Edmond Pereira Law Corporation, which was acting on behalf of Night Owl Cinematics. 

The letter demanded the user to “cease and desist” from making any further allegations against Ms Chan or Night Owl Cinematics and its employees on social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.

It added that it may proceed with legal proceedings if the user fails to acknowledge in writing that it will comply with the orders by 10am on Tuesday.  

TODAY has sought comments from the user on whether he or she intends to do so.  

Separately, Mr Tan, the firm’s co-founder, said in an email to TODAY that he has resigned as its director, though Night Owl Cinematics is still formalising his resignation.

Nevertheless, he said he has not been involved in the management of the company since earlier this year.

“I am leaving any response to be handled by the company and will not make any further comment,” he said.

TODAY also sought comments from both former and current employees of Night Owl Cinematics, but they did not respond.

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Night Owl Cinematics YouTuber mistreatment employee workplace

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