Major Singapore broadcaster Mediacorp has dropped radio DJ Sonia Chew from hosting its annual new year countdown show because she breached COVID-19 safety measures.
Chew, a 28-year-old host from 987FM radio, has been replaced by Class 95 DJ Jean Danker, 42, over her participation in a large October party.
“We take this matter seriously, and constantly brief and remind our artistes to adhere to safe management guidelines at all times. We will also cooperate fully with the authorities on their investigations,” the company said in today’s statement.
This year’s annual countdown show and virtual concert will also still be hosted by Chew’s original cohost, Joakim Gomez of 987FM
“In the meantime, Jean Danker will be hosting Let’s Celebrate 2021 with Joakim Gomez,” it added. Mediacorp owns both stations.
The show goes live on TV and online at 10:30pm on Thursday. Other local stars performing on the show include singer Gareth Fernandez. The company also noted that the filming of the show would adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines on TV broadcasting that had been set out by authorities, which allowed no more than 20 onscreen talents to be unmasked during production.
Chew in October joined a handful of celebrities at a birthday party for actor Shane Pow. At least 13 people, including actors Terence Cao and Jeffrey Xu, were photographed without wearing face masks and social distancing. The Ministry of National Development said last week it was investigating.
Chew took to her Instagram account yesterday to apologize for her actions, saying that she was originally unaware that there was going to be a small party.
“Firstly, I want to sincerely apologise for my actions. Upon seeing that there were more than five people present, I should have removed myself from that situation, and I didn’t. I’m fully responsible for that. This is by no means a way to make excuses for what happened,” she wrote.
“I was invited to have drinks with what I understood to be a small group of people and was not aware it was a birthday celebration,” she added.
Singaporeans are allowed to gather in groups of eight instead of five starting today as the country further relaxed COVID-19 measures. It has reported 58,524 cases and 29 deaths since the outbreak began in January.
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