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MTRCB to review complaints vs ‘E.A.T.’ after Joey de Leon’s suicide reference draws flak

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MTRCB to review complaints vs ‘E.A.T.’ after Joey de Leon’s suicide reference draws flak

Joey de Leon's Instagram

Netizens slam the comedian over his comment, especially as September happens to be Suicide Prevention Month

Trigger warning: This post contains mentions of suicide.

MANILA, Philippines – The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) announced on Monday, September 25 that they will be reviewing complaints against comedian Joey de Leon, who came under fire for making a reference to suicide on the noontime show E.A.T.

In the now-viral clip that aired on Saturday, September 23, De Leon made the comment during the “Gimme 5: Laro ng Mga Henyo” segment of E.A.T.

The segment’s contestant had been tasked to state, in less than 45 seconds, five items that could be placed around someone’s neck. De Leon chimed in, saying: “Lubid, lubid. Nakakalimutan ‘nyo. Lubid. (Rope, rope. You forgot about the rope).

Netizens have since slammed the comedian for making the reference, especially as September happens to be Suicide Prevention Month. The comedian was called out for being “insensitive” towards those with mental health struggles, with numerous online users asking the MTRCB to take action. 

In response to the complaints, the MTRCB released the statement on Monday acknowledging the incident.

“Taking cognizance of the complaints from the viewing public in relation to E.A.T. Gimme 5 segment aired last 23 September 2023, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) shall determine if the same are valid and presumably violative of Presidential Decree No. 1986 and/or its Implementing Rules and Regulations,” the MTRCB wrote.

Presidential Decree No. 1986 states the agency’s origins, as well as details its regulatory functions on film and television. It grants the MTRCB the ability to remove “objectionable portions” or prohibit the production of television programs on the basis of “contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard.”

The same decree was said to have been violated in July by fellow noontime program It’s Showtime for its “Isip Bata” segment involving hosts Vice Ganda and Ion Perez. Netizens couldn’t help but compare the two incidents with each other, saying that MTRCB chairman Lala Sotto, daughter of E.A.T host Tito Sotto III, shouldn’t be “biased” in giving sanctions to both shows.

This isn’t the first time that De Leon caught the ire of netizens for his remarks. In 2017, when he was still on the show Eat Bulaga, he went viral for a similar comment on depression, which he referred to as being “made up” and should “not be supported.” Following the backlash, De Leon issued an apology on Eat Bulaga a day later, noting that he mistook depression for mere stress and claimed he was not educated enough on the matter. – with additional reports from Mika Geronimo/

Mika Geronimo is a Rappler intern.

If you or anyone you know need assistance with mental health concerns, the Department of Health has national crisis hotlines that can be reached via landline at 1553; and via mobile at 0917-899-8727 and 0966-351-4518 (Globe); and 0908-639-2672 (Smart/Sun/TNT).

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