Aljur Abrenica Reveals Reasons For Wanting To Leave GMA-7Everybody was shocked when Kapuso primetime actor Aljur Abrenica decided to file a complaint against his network, GMA-7, asking it to release him from his contract which will end in 2017. Aljur said that GMA-7 has a different direction for where it wants to lead his career.
He also said that he has been thinking of this decision for over a year now, and that he is ready for the consequences.
Aljur filed before the Quezon City Hall of Justice the Judicial Confirmation of Rescission of Contract against GMA Network Inc. He was with his legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, when the complaint was filed. His camp, however, refused to give a copy of the said complaint.
But the reasons were eventually leaked to the press on the same day the complaint was filed.
According to Aljur’s camp, the actor doesn’t want to leave the network in this manner, but all his efforts to reach out to the management have already failed. He felt that his goals in his career are not being respected.
Atty. Topacio said they did some “backchanneling” and exerted all efforts to try to talk to GMA Network Inc., but all these efforts were in vain. Aljur even talked with one of the officials of the network, but this did not work as well. When the situation wasn’t too good already, his camp sent a formal letter to the network, insisting on meeting with them officially.
Atty. Topacio, however, said the network insisted on the contract and didn’t want to meet with them. They simply had no choice but to bring the matter before the court.
He said, though, that they are not completely closing their doors to GMA Network. If the Kapuso network wants to talk to them in the future, Aljur will be ready as well.
The actor complained that GMA-7 has not been doing what he wants for his career. He wants something more, and he has a different vision to where he wants to lead himself. He wanted also to help a lot of people, which he cannot do under the GMA-7 contract he signed.
“At sa akin pong nakikita, 'di na po nag-aakma, nagtutugma ang direksiyon na gusto nila para sa akin at direksiyon na gusto kong puntahan para sa career ko.”
Atty. Topacio commented that the actor is doing this because of “artistic direction.” He does not want to be forced to do something he doesn’t want to do. Also, he is not a “piece of meat” that can be directed to where the network wants him to even though he is against it.
Aljur simply won’t grow as an artist if he doesn’t leave GMA-7. The network will always be a part of Aljur, but they were just pushed to the corner, the lawyer said. He insisted that the complaint was not a full-on hearing. Rather, it’s a pre-trial. There will be a mediation, judicial dispute resolution and many more avenues for reconciliation. It’s a “win-win situation” for both parties, Atty. Topacio said.
These past years, there were many instances that Aljur felt the network did not give his career due respect. But he tried to compromise with them, and still did these projects, the actor added. However, he also realized that he’s not growing any younger and he wants to value his talent as an actor-singer.
Aljur clarified that there were no offers for him from another network, and that he is simply doing this because he felt GMA-7 wasn’t giving his talents enough recognition.
According to sources, one of the reasons why Aljur decided to ask the network to end his contract is because of the loss of his Bench endorsement deal. He also doesn’t want that the network usually asks him to sing “naughty songs.”
In one instance, someone from GMA Artist Center suggested that instead of using his name for his first album, it should be “Nota” or “Check In.”
Reports also claim that Aljur is now banned from entering all SM malls because in one event, Aljur was asked by the owner of the malls to be there during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. When Aljur was about to join the ceremony, he was pulled out by his handler from the event because he was following a schedule.
As a result, the owner decided to ban him from entering the malls. To show goodwill, Aljur attended all of SM’s and Bench’s shows for free during the Christmas season.
These reports were confirmed by the leakage of the complaint he filed against the network. This was published by another website.
According to the complaint, since the start of his career as a minor, Aljur’s welfare has always been disregarded that he must work until the wee hours of the morning. His schedule took a toll to his body that he is usually exhausted and he suffered from illness. These can affect his work performance.
He then asked the network to finish all of his shoots by 2AM, but the network dismissed this. Until his current contract, Aljur still works at ungodly hours.
And since there was no concrete plan from the network as to what it wants his career to be, Aljur feared it affected the progression of his career and his growth as a serious actor. He also felt that he was undermined as an artist because of the “brand” created by the network for him.
He started as “The Ultimate Hunk” but eventually, he would get lead or supporting roles. He would even be casted at times as the “eye candy” to help a program when it has a lagging ratings performance.
Also, since GMA-7 lost his Bench endorsement, Aljur is accusing them of “gross mismanagement.” This happened after a miscommunication during a fashion show for the clothing brand, the actor said in his complaint.
In January 2014, Bench offered a contract to Aljur that would require him to do a campaign wearing only his underwear. Although Aljur wasn’t comfortable with this, he signed the contract after the network promised to do a big launch that would package him as it did Dingdong Dantes—with formality and with decency.
Weeks before the July 2014 shoot, Aljur asked specifics as to what type of underwear he will wear and whether the Dingdong-type of campaign will happen. GMA did not answer his queries. On July 11, the day before the shoot, the network still did not reveal the “pegs” to Aljur despite his request to see it.
He then asked GMA Artist Center to send him the underwear not later than 9PM because he wants to rest early to prepare his body for the shoot the next day. By 10:30PM that night, the Artist Center informed him that his contract with Bench was cancelled without giving him any reasons.
The instances mentioned clearly showed that GMA-7 mishandled Aljur’s contracts and career, and filed to protect his rights and interests as an artist, the complaint said.
The incident with SM, meanwhile, happened in September 2013. This resulted to a possible loss of further endorsements for Aljur because he was banned from all SM Malls. He was then left by the network to fend for himself and fix the issue it has created with the management of the mall.
As for his music career, in order for his music talents not to stagnate, Aljur was forced to produce his own album in 2013 without any help from the network. The album was composed of seven original mainstream songs and the remake of Jeremiah’s “Nanghihinayang.” Aljur spent his personal funds for the album.
Aljur did not reveal that he was funding his own album back then out of respect for the network. When the launching date was already nearing, GMA offered to market his album but insisted on replacing the original track.
The actor-singer was surprised because the proposed songs were not love songs as what composed his original track, but “novelty songs composed of double entendres of a graphically sexually suggestive nature.”
Suggested songs were “Nota,” “Sisid,” “Abs” and “Legs.” Worst of this, Simoun Ferrer, GMA’s head of branding and imaging, suggested a song entitled “Check In” in obvious reference to rumors that Aljur and his “Kambal Sirena” co-star Louise Delos Reyes checked-in in a hotel in Subic during the taping for the series. This was allegedly the reason why he broke up with then girlfriend Kylie Padilla, and why Louise separated with Enzo Pineda.
The songs were demeaning to Aljur’s character and skills as a thespian. It also makes fun of him in the entertainment industry, and promotes him as a “lewd comedian,” the complaint said.
Meanwhile, GMA-7 released a short statement regarding Aljur’s complaint. “GMA Network does not release its talents from their existing contracts without a valid cause or basis particularly if the reasons cited by its talents are not true.”
It will release a full statement once it receives a copy of Aljur complaint.
The actor has been a talent of the Kapuso network for eight years. Some of his projects were: “Kambal Sirena” (2014), “Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan” (2007), “Dyesebel” (2008), “Luna Mystica” (2008), “Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin?” (2009), “All My Life” (2009), “The Last Prince” (2010), and “Ilumina” (2010).
In 2011, he was the lead character in the remake of “Machete.” He was also a part of “Amaya” (2011), “Coffee Prince” (2012) and “Prinsesa Ng Buhay Ko” (2013). He also had a self-titled album under GMA Records.