film directors

Antoinette Jadaone on future of ‘Walang Kwentang Podcast’: ‘Wait lamang’

ANTOINETTE JADAONE. The director speaks up on the future of her podcast after her co-host, writer Juan Miguel Severo is hounded by sexual harassment allegations.

Rappler file

The director co-hosted the podcast with writer Juan Miguel Severo, who was accused of sexual harassment

Director Antoinette Jadaone has asked the Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast community to wait, as she spoke up in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against her co-host, Juan Miguel Severo.

Juan Miguel had been accused of sexual harassment by users on Twitter after actor Paolo Pangilinan posted several cryptic tweets on June 20, referring to an unnamed harasser.

Paolo starred in the BL show Gaya sa Pelikula, which was written and created by Juan Miguel.

In a June 23 post on the podcast’s public Facebook group, Antoinette apologized for her delayed response, saying that she wanted to speak to the parties involved who are close to her, “in hopes of having a clearer understanding first before speaking.”

Without mentioning names, she stressed that sexual harassment should be taken seriously, and that she felt shock and sadness over what has happened.

Hindi ko rin alam ang kabuuan ng kwento (I don’t know the full story), but I know that when a victim speaks up, we must listen, and empathize, kahit na o lalo na kung malapit sa atin ang involved (even though, and especially if, those involved are close to us),” she said.

“Sexual harassment and abuse are never okay and must not be justified,” she reiterated.

Sa mga nagtatanong about the podcast: wait lamang (to those asking about the podcast: please wait),” she said.

“This is my baby too, and the community we have all built has become a respite for me. Pero sa palagay ko, mas mahalaga sa puntong ito na mag-reflect muna (in my opinion, it is important at this point to reflect first), and clear some space to listen to the voices that need to be heard. I hope you understand,” she said.

Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast premiered in May 2020, and is a production of Globe Studios. Gaya sa Pelikula is also a Globe Studios production.

Earlier, Gaya sa Pelikula producer and Globe Studios head Quark Henares also spoke out on Twitter, acknowledging how the allegations against Juan Miguel have affected their show.

In a Twitter thread on June 23, Quark said that the cast and crew of the show had met up to discuss how they would move forward. In a photo he posted from the meeting, Juan Miguel was noticeably absent.

“I’ve witnessed how one person’s acts can affect a whole community. I watched a whole room full of people cry, recent events bringing out painful memories or feelings of helplessness. People blaming themselves because they felt they failed those they swore they’d protect,” Quark said.

He also said, speaking for himself, that he “will not work with anyone who uses their power to take advantage of anyone else. In any capacity.”

It is unclear whether this means that Juan Miguel has been dropped from the show or whether he would continue, but Quark has told ABS-CBN’s MJ Felipe that they are uncertain over the filming of Gaya sa Pelikula season 2, which was supposed to start next week.

He stressed that Paolo still wanted to continue with the show, but acknowledged that many fans have been “traumatized” by the allegations too.

Juan Miguel has since deleted or deactivated his Twitter account, and has yet to respond to the allegations. Rappler has reached out to him for comment. – Rappler.com

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