MTRCB summons 'Eat Bulaga' officials over Tito Sotto's remarks

MANILA, Philippines  (UPDATED) – The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has summoned the executives of the noontime show Eat Bulaga, after reading and receiving complaints in social media about Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III's controversial remarks in the show segment "Juan For All, All For Juan," aired July 9.

In a memo dated July 11, MTRCB chairman Eugenio "Toto" Villareal said that the remarks of Tito Sotto, one of the show's main hosts, was "alleged to be insensitive to women." (READ: Dear Senator Sotto and all men who feel entitled)

The memo also cited that the Parental Guidance (PG) classification that the MTRCB had given the program, as well as "norms of gender sensitivity under the law" – particularly according to the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710, Section 16).

The board has invited the representatives of TAPE, as well as GMA Network, to a conference scheduled on July 21.

Sought for comment, Sotto in a text message to Rappler: "Watch [the] episode. Some netizens who commented did not even watch it."

Sotto continued: "It was a simple reaction saying that a married lady should not be out at night having shots (or drinking) with men other than her husband.

"Talagang mapapagbintangan ka (You will be blamed). That's [the] context. What's wrong with that?" he added.

 He also welcomed the MTRCB dialogue with Eat Bulaga executives, saying: "It's a welcome development if MTRCB looks into [the] matter. They will see that I was merely moralizing for the protection of [the] institution of marriage. Thanks for [the] heads up."

In the July 9 episode, the "Juan For All, All For Juan" segment winner shared an incident where she alleged that a male friend had taken advantage of her when she was drunk. 

As seen in a video clip, Sotto then suggested the woman shouldn't have been drinking in the first place: "Kasalanan ng lahat ng yan ng pag-inom... Kababaeng mong tao pa-shot shot ka (That's all because of drinking. You're woman and you're doing shots?)"

Co-host Jose Manalo added: "Anong suot mo? Naka-shorts ka no? (What were you wearing? You were in shorts weren't you?)"

The remarks did not sit well with some viewers, who expressed how they took issue to it on social media. They perceived it to be an instance of "promoting rape culture" and "victim-blaming" (as quoted in the Inquirer), as well as misogynism – especially on the part of the senator.

TAPE officials have yet to comment on the matter. – Rappler.com