This post first appeared on Tan Chui Mui’s filmmaker’s page on Facebook on 30 June 2016.
Dear good people from Leo Burnett,
I don’t have a lawyer to write a legal letter yet, so I will write this letter myself.
I would like to demand for 3 things, so that Leo Burnett could have an opportunity to prove that you did not plagiarise my story.
1. The script “Ah Pa’s Sacrifice”
On 5 February 2016, Da Huang Pictures received an email from Leo Burnett saying that “we gather that you may believe that there is some similarity between this web film and a treatment that Da Huang proposed to Leo Burnett in early 2015 – a treatment that was based on a script called Ah Pa’s Sacrifice developed by Leo Burnett for our client. You note that we did not go ahead with that treatment.”
And on the press release published on 29 June 2016, again Leo Burnett stated that, “Key elements such as the setting in the rubber estate and the character of the child and his motivations and circumstances, along with the key message, were always in the agency script that was briefed to all the directors involved.”
For a fair comparison of the two stories, please show us the said script of “Ah Pa’s Sacrifice” , which was sent to my team on the 22 December 2014, that Leo Burnett claimed that my treatment is based on.
If Leo Burnett do not manage to show the script before 9:00am, July 2 2016 – more than 48-hours from when this note is published – I would assume you had given me permission to share the script of “Ah Pa’s Sacrifice” on my facebook page, for the benefit of the public knowledge.
2. The Story written before 23 Dec 2014
I would maintain my statement that Leo Burnett had used a story I had pitched to them without my permission.
The story was pitched to James Yap and others from Leo Burnett on 23 Dec 2014. Here is a screen capture of the online group discussion titled Petronas CNY.
A script based on this pitch was sent to James Yap from Leo Burnett one day later on 24 Dec 2014.
Kindly prove that a similar story was writen by Leo Burnett before the date 23 Dec 2014.
3. A story published before 13 Dec 2011
The pitch to James Yap was based on a micro-short I wrote and published on 13 Dec 2011.
English translation of the above text:
[THE BACK] My friend told me how he became a grown up. He was very rebellious in his secondary school years, he picked fights everywhere. His mother was a rubber tapper. One day for no reason he followed his mom as she went rubber tapping. He saw that his mother was carrying a big bucket, and he rushed to helped her. As soon as he held the bucket, he realised it was so heavy that he could not even lift it up. His mother quietly carry the bucket on her back, and continued walking in front. He stayed at the back, quietly crying. He was 15 that year, after that he started to study hard.
Kindly prove that a similar story was written and published by Leo Burnett before the date of 13 Dec 2011.
I shall wait for your response.
Tan Chui Mui
Read more about the issue from our previous coverage and archive of information issued from both parties. Make sure to get into the discussion and drop a comment!