MTRCB calls out 'Bubble Gang' on 'derogatory portrayal of a woman'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Producers and select cast members of GMA 7's late night gag show Bubble Gang met with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), December 9, regarding the "discriminatory and derogatory portrayal of a woman" in the show's November 29 episode.

In a summons posted on Twitter on December 7, the MTRCB expressed concern over a segment titled "D Adventures of Susie Luwalhati," which allegedly "portrayed a woman as an object of rather frivolous, albeit carnal delight."

The segment featured character Susie Luwalhati (Rufa Mae Quinto) applying for an opening as a cook in a puto bumbong (rice dessert) stall run by owner Beethoven Bunagan (Michael V).

MTRCB described the two-minute sketch in detail, zooming in on how a group of men were looking at Quinto with "apparent sexually oriented delight" as Quinto's breasts "shaked vigorously" while handling a bamboo tube. 

"In rapidly moving her hands up and down with the end of the later releasing the puto bumbong, Susie gave the impression (quite arguably) that she was simulating male 'self-abuse,'" read the statement.

Watch the clip here:

Strong Parental Guidance

The MTRCB also commented on Quinto's outfit, decribing it as "skimpy" with a "low hanging neckline tank top." The MTRCB also noted that the name of Quinto's character Susie is a reference to the Filipino word for a woman's breasts.

MTRCB explained that the show's Strong Parental Guidance (SPG) rating implies the possibility that young viewers may be watching the program. 

MTRCB said that the producers and cast of "Bubble Gang" agreed in a December 9 meeting to submit proposed measures to ensure gender-sensitive content by December 16, 2013. The network giant also committed to hold "empowerment sessions, with an audience feedback component, to ensure audience-sensitive content."

The MTRCB thanked GMA 7 for their cooperation.

Bubble Gang undertakes to submit proposed measures to ensure gender-sensitive content by 16 December 2013. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) December 9, 2013 MTRCB notes GMA7's initiative for the holding of empowerment sessions, w/ audience feedback component, to ensure audience-sensitive content. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) December 9, 2013 MTRCB thanks GMA7 for its cooperation and initiative at today's conference. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) December 9, 2013

In a statement sent to Rappler, GMA-7 CEO for Corporate Communications Butch Raquel confirmed they have agreed to openly hold meetings with the MTRCB, as well as to hold a series of talks for the production.

"On December 9, GMA Network’s Bubble Gang had a dialogue with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) highlighting ways of improving the show’s comedy routine. On the next few days, Bubble Gang openly agrees to have meetings with MTRCB to raise awareness on certain issues. In addition to this, GMA will be implementing series of talks for Bubble Gang/Entertainment comedy group."

Quinto posted a photo of the meeting on Instagram, saying the discussion made her contemplate on what truly makes "Filipino humor." She thanked MTRCB for "hearing her out and for the concern."

"Napaisip akong mag-balot balot na," she said pertaining to her clothing on television. (I'm starting to think of dressing more conservatively.)

She also thanked Michael V, director Uro dela Cruz, and executive producer Jan Navaro.