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Spoken word group Words Anonymous cut ties with member Juan Miguel Severo after sexual harassment allegations against him came to light on social media.
Severo first gained recognition as a spoken word poet, before writing and creating the BL show Gaya sa Pelikula.
He was accused of sexual harassment by several Twitter users, after Gaya sa Pelikula star Paolo Pangilinan posted several cryptic tweets on June 20 referring to an unnamed harasser.
In a statement posted on Facebook on Friday, July 2, Words Anonymous said: “We have collectively decided to sever all connections with Juan Miguel Severo and are working on removing all content featuring him on our platforms.”
“We are disassociating ourselves, individually and as a group, with Juan Miguel Severo moving forward. And we will continue to advocate for the importance of consent and safety,” they said.
They also said that they felt “disgust, disappointment, and rage” over the allegations, and described it as a betrayal of what the group stands for.
“We feel deep shame in how someone we trusted violated the safe spaces we are trying to create,” they said.
They also expressed support for the alleged victims, and demanded accountability for Severo’s actions.
“There should be no tolerance for rape and harassment of any kind anywhere – in a group of friends, on any stage or online platform, or in society,” they said.
They ended their statement with an apparent call out to Severo, who has deactivated his Twitter account since the allegations surfaced. He has remained silent on the issue, despite efforts by Rappler and other publications to get his side.
“At bilang panghuli, para sa ’yo na piniling manahimik sa gitna ng lahat ng ito. Nagsisilabasan ang mga kwento at nandito na kaming lahat para harapin ka. Ikaw, kailan?” they said.
(A final word, for you who chose to remain silent in the middle of all this. The stories are coming out, and we are all here to face you. How about you?)
Other parties that have worked with Severo have also previously spoken out on the issue, without mentioning his name.
Director Antoinette Jadaone, who co-hosted Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast with him, asked their listeners to wait and give her time to reflect before they decide on the show’s future.
Quark Henares, producer of Gaya sa Pelikula, said that he personally “will not work with anyone who uses their power to take advantage of anyone else. In any capacity.”
He also shared that the cast and crew of the show met to discuss what had happened, and talk about how they would move forward. – Rappler.com