English television channel TVB Pearl has received more than 30 complaints for the lack of Cantonese dubbing during the broadcasts of two English movies over the weekend. The complaints came following the channels’ decision in July to cancel Cantonese dubbing in films and TV dramas.

TVB Pearl played films Fast & Furious 6 and Real Steel on Saturday and Sunday respectively without Cantonese dubbing. The station received 35 complaints by phone while a further 14 complaints were lodged with the Communications Authority, reported Apple Daily.

However, the Communications Authority told Apple Daily that dubbing was not a requirement for licensed TV broadcasters.

TVB cancelled dubbing for English movies.
TVB cancelled dubbing for English movies. Photo: Wikicommons.

The decision to cancel Cantonese dubbing on TVB Pearl was first rumoured in June and confirmed by TVB in July.

Apple Daily obtained a TVB memo, circulated internally, that said “TVB programmes for which dubbing is required have increased by 60 percent in the last five years”—and that in order to balance the needs of different programmes, the allocation of resources has been adjusted.

Tam Ping-man, a veteran TVB voice actor, said it is better for programmes to be dubbed. “Young people may not need [Cantonese dubbing], but many middle-aged and elderly people cannot watch [programmes] without it,” he said.

TVB will still offer Cantonese dubbing for children’s shows, documentaries as well as lifestyle and travel programmes. Chinese subtitles will also remain.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.