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Trigger warning: This piece mentions suicide
MANILA, Philippines – The management of noontime show E.A.T has apologized to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) over the “lubid (rope)” joke made by one of its main hosts, Joey de Leon.
During the Saturday, September 23 episode, De Leon quipped, “Lubid, lubid. Nakakalimutan ‘nyo lubid (Rope, rope. You forgot about the rope),” during the “Gimme 5: Laro ng Mga Henyo” segment, in which the contestant had been tasked to list five items that could be placed around someone’s neck.
Netizens have since slammed the comedian for making remarks that insinuate suicide, and called him out for being insensitive towards those with mental health struggles.
Although De Leon has yet to personally address the issue, the MTRCB revealed during the Senate finance subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, September 27, that the production team of E.A.T had already sent them an apology letter.
“The E.A.T. production voluntarily appeared before the MTRCB on Monday, [September 25] with an apology letter,” MTRCB chairperson Lala Sotto said.
In the letter, which was released to the media by the office of Senator Jinggoy Estrada, E.A.T. management wrote that they were “regretful and apologetic to those who were offended” by De Leon’s comment.
They also explained that the host’s comment was done “in a very brief manner without further actions, elaborations, or demonstrations.”
“However, some viewers interpreted the utterance of the said object to be an insinuation of suicide, which is a very sensitive and triggering subject,” they added.
Lawyer Paul Cases, chairperson of the MTRCB adjudication board, also shared during the subcommittee hearing that the panel had already taken cognizance of the complaints that they’ve received over De Leon’s remarks.
This isn’t the first time that De Leon caught the ire of netizens for his insensitive remarks about mental health.
In a 2017 episode of Eat Bulaga, he referred to depression as something that’s “made up” and should “not be supported.” Following the backlash, the host issued an apology, saying that he mistook depression for mere stress and claimed he was not educated enough on the matter. – Rappler.com