If you can't take criticism, back off

GLENN ONG ON: Public spat with ex-actor

UPSET: Nicholas Lee was offended by Glenn Ong’s (above) criticism about his show. - PHOTO: CIR VIS

UPSET: Nicholas Lee (above) was offended by Glenn Ong’s criticism about his show. - PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/NICKLEE7788

An online exchange between Glenn Ong and TV producer and former actor Nicholas Lee over Channel 5 sci-fi series 2025 turned ugly yesterday.

Ong, in his trademark candid manner, had said the TV show was "the worst local drama series of all time".

He tweeted on the evening of Feb 14: "At least (the 1998 James Lye sci-fi drama) VR man was funny!"

Drama series 2025, which began airing on Jan 3, is produced by Lee's TV production company XXX Studios.

Lee, 49, is best known for his role as brash brother Ronnie Tan from hit 90s sitcom Under One Roof.

Set in the year 2025 in Singapore, the mystery series, which airs on Saturdays at 9.30pm, portrays a near future where technologies in development today are fully integrated into life.

It stars Lim Kay Tong and Amy Cheng, among other local actors.


Ong's comment about the show prompted a snide retort from its cast members.

Ong then posted a capture of the exchange on Instagram, where a none-too-amused Lee hit back with an expletive-laden comment.

Ong also posted a sarcastic "apology" on Twitter and Instagram.

His comment - "How could I have possibly been so blind and unsophisticated in giving 2025 a straight thumbs down?" - came with the hashtags "#apologytofansof2025" and "#everythingisawesome".

When contacted, Ong told TNP: "I made those comments on my Twitter page.

"As a radio DJ, I made fun of TV shows and people and injected humour at the same time. If you can't take my criticism, back off.

"I don't think anyone can say 2025 is a wonderful show. It's a horrible show. It has terrible special effects, terrible make-up."

Ong said Lee's comeback took him by surprise. "As a public figure, he shouldn't use such language and behave like that," he said.

For now, Ong said the spat is a closed chapter. Similarly, Lee said the whole episode is water under the bridge - unless Ong retaliates.

Lee said he considers Ong a friend, and has never disliked him.

"It's like warfare. If you attack me, I'd retaliate with an appropriate response. If he lets it go, I'll let it go."

"There are two kinds of people in this world - one who builds things up and one who knocks them down. One is him and the other is me. I leave you to figure out which is which.

"I felt he was being irresponsible and disrespectful towards the hundreds of people who worked on the show. Being the Egoman (Ong's Twitter handle is Glenn Egoman Ong), he thinks he's a big deal but he's being childish. He needs to be responsible with what he says."