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The Straits Times
Jan 6, 2023
Actor-host Pornsak Prajakwit has responded to a statement from live-streaming company Mdada, saying he had no intention of defaming it in a previous interview.
He made a surprise announcement on Instagram on Sunday that he was leaving the e-commerce company he founded with actress-host Michelle Chia and celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee in September 2020.
In a subsequent interview with news portal AsiaOne on Tuesday, the 40-year-old said: “There are a lot of things that we have in common, but we also have differences. But considering the generation gap, I don’t think it came as a surprise.”
To avoid souring his relationship with Chia, 47, and Lee, 51, he said he decided to leave as they had differences, “especially when it came to corporate governance”.
On Thursday, Mdada issued a statement, which was carried on its social media accounts as well as Lee’s, addressing Pornsak’s comments.
The company said it was “deeply disappointed” about Pornsak speaking to the media about his decision to leave “without first giving them a proper chance to address his alleged concerns”.
It claimed that Pornsak did not mention his concerns when he resigned as director and chief executive of Mdada in October.
In the statement, the company also pointed out that the age gap between the three founders, which it said was “minor”, was known to Pornsak from the start of their collaboration.
It was also “deeply concerned by any suggestion or innuendo that Mdada or its key shareholders are in any way untrustworthy with customers’ purchases or orders, or that Mdada is lacking in corporate governance”.
The statement refuted such suggestions as wholly untrue and baseless. It also touched on issues the company had faced in the delivery of goods sold on its platform, saying that delays and cancellations happened from time to time due to “extrinsic factors outside of Mdada’s control”.
These included logistic problems due to weather and Covid-19 restrictions imposed by other countries.
The statement added: “This episode has not only affected Mdada’s reputation and value, but has also hurt Michelle, Addy and all employees of Mdada who work tirelessly to serve our loyal customers and fans. Only Pornsak will be able to explain why he decided to do so.”
Pornsak, who remains a shareholder in the company, responded in an interview with entertainment portal 8world on Friday: “When I was interviewed, I had no intention of defaming the company at all.
“Maybe everyone interpreted my post differently. In the future, I will think twice before writing. During media interviews, I have always emphasised that I really respect the two of them and I am also very grateful to Mdada.”
In a separate interview with Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, Pornsak said he might have not chosen his words appropriately as he is Thai-Chinese.
As for his remark about the generation gap, he said it “is not a matter of numbers”, but referred to “ideas and concepts”.
“People of the same age may have different solutions to problems because of their different life experiences,” he added.
As for the friendship between the trio, who often appeared together in live streams and social media posts, he said he believed in parting on good terms, adding that “time will clear up all misunderstandings”.