MTRCB meets with ABS-CBN on 'comedy bar humor'

MANILA, Philippines - The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) announced on its Twitter account (@MTRCBgova meeting with ABS-CBN producers and comedian Vice Ganda on Wednesday, June 5 regarding regulations on gag and comedy practices on television.

According to the tweets, the meeting reviewed rules and guidelines regarding the "movement of comedy bar humor into television," focusing on "respect for human dignity" as well as laws on the protection of women, children, PWDs, and senior citizens.

MTRCB meets ABS-CBN producers & comedian/writer/host Jose Marie Viceral on movement of comedy bar humor into television. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) June 5, 2013

While noting the wit of comedy bar humor, the MTRCB emphasized the dos & don'ts for TV to ABS-CBN execs & talent Viceral. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) June 5, 2013

ABS-CBN team &Viceral oriented on laws protecting women, children, PWDs & sr citizens, also on Broadcast Code norms. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) June 5, 2013

Mtg w/ ABS largely instructive; respect for human dignity at all times reiterated by MTRCB. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) June 5, 2013

Avoiding potentially offensive humor off-cam disposes one to stick to wholesome humor on-cam, ABS team & Viceral told. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) June 5, 2013

ABS & talent Viceral to review writing and gag delivery practices to conform MTRCB-enforced laws & rules. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) June 5, 2013

Earlier tweets also suggest that MTRCB will be meeting separately with 3 television networks to address the issue. Inquirer reports MTRCB is also set to meet with television networks TV5 and GMA in June.

MTRCB expresses concern over migration of comedy bar humor to TV, to call attention of networks. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) May 29, 2013

MTRCB separately calls 3 major TV networks to address migration of comedy bar humor to television. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) May 30, 2013

In an interview with MTRCB chair Eugenio Villareal on morning show "Umagang Kay Ganda" on May 30, he defined "comedy bar jokes as humor that make use of content that are deemed inappropriate for young audiences such as "green jokes" or "put downs."

Public outrage recently exploded due to Vice Ganda's Jessica Soho "rape joke" during his May 17 concert, however, a report by Interaksyon states the MTRCB has been receiving complaints from viewers regarding offensive statements from the comedian even before the said incident. 

"Mahaba na talaga ang mga comment. So it’s fair to say that before the May 17 concert, so to speak, ay may natatanggap na kami. Kinakalap ito at due na talaga,” (The issue created a long string of comments, so it's fair to say that before the May 17 concert, so to speak, we have already received complaints. A meeting is due), Said Villareal. 

It was for this reason that the MTRCB began the meetings with ABS-CBN and Vice Ganda, who they thanked for their cooperation.

The MTRCB thanks ABS-CBN & talent Jose Marie Viceral (Vice Ganda) for their cooperation & initiative @ yesterday's meet. — MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) June 5, 2013