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MANILA, Philippines - It was just a matter of time before she resigned. Controversial host Ruffa Gutierrez felt TV 5's weekend entertainment talk show, Paparazzi, was becoming obnoxious.
"After evaluating the direction that the show has been geared towards as of late, I strongly feel that the values and the principles that the show stands for are no longer aligned to what I wish for myself and for my children and even the causes I stand for," the former beauty queen said.
Gutierrez drew the "thin line between entertaining and degrading" in Rappler's one-on-one interview with her on Saturday, June 30, the first time she did not appear as host of the show which she said engages in "trashy reporting."
On June 27, Gutierrez formally submitted her resignation letter to Perci Intalan, Entertainment and Creative Head of TV5. The host first vented her disappointment on Twitter on June 23, after the show aired a surprise birthday tribute that put her in the hot seat.
According to Gutierrez, her co-hosts, following the segment's format, whispered questions that pertained to private parts and sexual behavior of the men she was romantically linked to in the past, including Aga Muhlach, Zoren Legaspi, and Robin Padilla.
"I refused to dignify the lewd and offensive question with an answer. I was mortified, upset and it was beginning to show behind my smile. No one has a right to ask those questions to anyone on air or even off air. The questions may have been whispered, but they were resonating loudly as offensive, vulgar and degrading to a person," Gutierrez lamented.
"As soon as the show finished, I felt that my dignity and integrity as a person, along with the rest of my womanhood, were violated. I knew right then and there that I would never come back to Paparazzi," Gutierrez stressed.
On June 30, a week after the controversy, Gutierrez appeared calmer during the relaunch of her Roof-a-Child Foundation which she established in 1998 to provide shelter for children with disabilities or are abused and abandoned by their parents.
Together with her daughters and friends, including BB Gandanghari, Phoemela Baranda, and Cristalle Bello, Gutierrez recently helped build 5 houses for Habitat for Humanity.
"I'm relaunching the foundation because after getting married and making a comeback, I wanted a fresh new start," Gutierrez said.
Understanding the potential of the online media to promote not only her celebrity status but also her causes, Gutierrez also revived her website.
"Social media and the Internet have totally changed the world and how we communicate," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez was one of the few local celebrities who launched their websites in the 1990s. She stopped updating her site two years ago. Since then, Gutierrez has been more active on Twitter where she has more than 1 million followers. - Rappler.com
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