MOVIE and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chairman Atty. Eugenio Toto Villareal remained mum yesterday over the controversy involving comedian Vice Ganda’s jokes about gang rape and broadcast journalist Jessica Soho.
In a text message, Villareal said he is “still studying” the issue.
As this developed, a progressive party-list group yesterday asked the MTRCB to review the guidelines in the country’s entertainment industry following the “rape jokes.”
Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan asked MTRCB Chairman Villareal to deeply examine the rules, underscoring the need to update the existing standards.
“We are hard on media practitioners to follow ethical standards in doing their jobs but I think we have been ignoring those in the entertainment industry,” Ilagan stressed. “From time to time, we see these kinds of lapse and this tells us that we need to update similar guidelines for our entertainers.
“They need to be guided on how to pick appropriate materials,” Ilagan pointed out.
“Rape is among the worst (if not the worst) form of violence against women. It should not be trivialized nor should it be a subject of jokes. Rape is a subject that should be treated with utmost sensitivity. The trauma that victims and their families undergo is immeasurable,” Ilagan said.
“Vice Ganda’s lapse in judgment as shown in how rape was made a subject in one of his jokes in his recent concert reflects a deeper problem: that of how Philippine society views rape and violence inflicted against women and children. We caution Vice Ganda and everyone in the media to be more sensitive and responsible in making such jokes and statements,” Ilagan stressed.
“We urge those in the media, whether in the news or entertainment industry to make good use of their reach and influence to raise people’s consciousness against violation against women and be instruments in the fight to end all forms of violence against women,” she said.