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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

ABS-CBN may have to reconsider keeping Vice Ganda on TV

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“It is expected that individuals who hold such positions conduct themselves with ethical and tasteful decorum while on air”

Vice Ganda is a famous personality in the current ABS-CBN Corporation television program It’s Showtime.

The real name of the 47-year-old Vice Ganda is Jose Marie Borja Viceral.

News reports indicate Viceral and 32 year-old Benigno “Ion” Perez went through a “wedding commitment ceremony” in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States on October 19, 2021. Whether or not Philippine law recognizes that ceremony is unclear.

Last September 4, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board ordered the suspension of It’s Showtime for 12 days.

The suspension order was issued on account of numerous complaints from the general public about a segment of the July 25, 2023 episode of the program. That segment is called Isip Bata.

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The complaints allege the segment in question featured indecent acts committed by Viceral and Perez.

According to the complaints, a cake was on the set of the Isip Bata segment.

Perez eventually smeared some cake icing on his finger and then licked some of it off.

Thereafter, Viceral scooped some of the icing off Perez’ finger and ate the same. Some remarks were made after that.

It appears the complaints found the segment too suggestive, amounting to indecency.

After due deliberation, the MTRCB ruled the segment in question violated pertinent provisions of the board’s charter, namely, Presidential Decree 1986.

Section 3(c) of the charter prohibits, among others, the television broadcast of indecent and obscene program materials.

Pursuant to the MTRCB charter, ABS-CBN filed a motion for reconsideration directed at the order of suspension.

Late last month, however, the MTRCB denied the motion for reconsideration.

Under the same charter, ABS-CBN may appeal to the Office of the President of the Philippines. As of this writing, however, it is not known if the network has availed itself of this legal remedy.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN insists it did not violate the law.

Observers note the boisterous behavior of many male and female mainstays of It’s Showtime. Compounding that problem is the very high average level of the volume of the program’s audio.

With practically everyone in the program screaming out loud on their microphones, plus the very high pitch of its background music and sound effects, It’s Showtime may count as a hysterical and stressful noontime television program.

Admittedly, It’s Showtime caters primarily to the masses, which probably explains why many media analysts opine the show has no social or redeeming value.

In 2010, ABS-CBN’s now defunct television program Showtime found itself suspended by the MTRCB for 20 days due to numerous complaints from the viewing public. Some news reports say the suspension was for a month.

As in It’s Showtime, the issue against ABS-CBN regarding Showtime was its program content which many viewers found unacceptable and violative of Section 3(c) of the MTRCB charter.

In particular, the MTRCB took issue with the utterances made by actress Rosanna Roces in the episodes of Showtime aired on January 4 and 7, 2010.

According to the MTRCB, the utterances were uncalled for and were in violation of the law.

It was also reported that the suspension order issued to Showtime covered the television show Magpasikat, which temporarily replaced Showtime, and other similar programs.

Later in May 2013, Viceral found himself in hot water after he made a joke about Jessica Soho in his concert aired on ABS-CBN that time. Soho was and continues to be a broadcast journalist of the GMA television network.

In particular, Viceral said Soho was overweight, and he went on to tell the audience in Tagalog, “It will be difficult if Jessica Soho gets naked. It has to be gang rape all the time. The rapist will say, ‘Pass the pork,” and Jessica will reply, ‘But where’s the apple?”

Viceral’s vulgar remarks against Soho got the ire of the public.

GMA broadcast journalists scored Viceral for his crude, crass, offensive language.

Media analysts asserted Viceral’s unrefined behavior live on television was manifestly a violation of media law and media ethics.

A columnist in a daily newspaper attributed Viceral’s unethical tirade against Soho as the consequence of Viceral’s previous work as a stand-up comedian in several bars in Manila.

As a prominent figure in the television industry, Viceral should be well aware of the vast public interest that surrounds this medium due to its extensive viewership.

Therefore, it is expected that individuals who hold such positions conduct themselves with ethical and tasteful decorum while on air.

Unfortunately, it appears that Viceral has not taken heed from the 2013 incident.

Maybe Viceral is too arrogant from his fame and believes he can behave however he pleases on live television without facing consequences.

If the MTRCB’s ruling becomes final and executory, ABS-CBN ought to reconsider keeping Viceral on television.

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