One of the founders of YouTube channel Night Owl Cinematics, or NOC, has lawyered up and hit back at workplace culture allegations and infidelity rumors, calling them a “massive crusade” against its public image.
The company and its chief Sylvia Chan – the target of most of the accusations – announced last night they had ordered lawyers to send a cease and desist letter to whoever is behind the Instagram allegations. Nearly all of the original accusatory posts by @Sgcickenrice had been removed by Tuesday morning, except for a legal letter and leaked audio phone recording purportedly of Chan trash-talking a talent known as “SamanthaTYF.”
“We invite you to appreciate that the narrative that was fed to you on social media had one purpose, to harm the good name of NOC,” last night’s statement said. “The excerpts that are published are cherry picked abstract communications between private individuals carefully showcased to paint a wholly negative picture.”
It added that there have been “serious breaches of privacy laws” and that those responsible will be investigated by authorities. Cofounder and Chan’s ex-husband, Ryan Tan, last night distanced himself from the saga, saying that he had not been involved in the company’s management since earlier this year and would not be commenting on the matter. He is still part of NOC and starred in recent videos.
Those behind the Instagram account, which has garnered more than 40,000 followers since surfacing last week, have not identified themselves. They had shared conversations and recordings, seemingly of employees and Chan, as evidence of an abusive and “toxic” workplace culture. It also suggested that Chan, whose marriage was a centerpiece of NOC content, had cheated on Tan.
A letter from the Edmund Pereira Law Firm listed 42 allegations or claims it demanded be removed, while also asking for written confirmation that those behind the accusations were complying.
“The unauthorised collection, usage and disclosure of the personal data of our Clients, and their artistes and employees and the publication of the same on the Internet without the necessary and required consent, have caused harassment, alarm and distress to many, a disruption to our Clients’ business and the loss of our Clients’ sponsors,” the letter said.
Both Colgate and Milo responded by severing ties with Chan.
Screenshots of text conversations that had been shared online included records said to be Chan calling employees “fucking retarded,” “fucking shit,” and ”fucking extra,” among others. NOC said that it had investigated the “merits” of the allegations but believed that social media was not the “appropriate forum to address them.” The company, however, acknowledged the “inevitable discourse in expectations” that comes with a fast-paced organization, “that will create rifts that are sometimes irreconcilable.”
“In NOC, we have always endeavored to accept and appreciate these differences to allow us to glean valuable perspectives on various matters,” it said, later adding: “Wherever efforts to maintain our standards may have fallen short, we did not give up on our teammates nor did we take the easy way out by replacing them.”
Reactions to the company’s statement have been largely critical.
“Wow, she is not even apologetic. Not even an apology or a shred of remorse of what she has done to others. There wouldn’t be so many people speaking up and solid proof if the allegations weren’t true. So disappointed,” read one such comment from user Drake.tkj.
“Your CEO, Sylvia is the one which is the root of allegations which resulted [in] a series of chaos in the company… now is the whole company’s problem?” @HappyHoppet added.