MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - GMA executive and news anchor Jessica Soho was defended by fellow GMA journalists after TV personality Vice Ganda, an ABS-CBN talent, joked about her getting raped.
After making jibes at Soho's weight, the comedian jested during his concert last May 17: "Ang hirap nga lang kung si Jessica Soho magbo-bold. Kailangan gang rape lagi. Sasabihin ng rapist, 'Ipasa ang lechon.' Sasabihin naman ni Jessica, 'Eh nasaan yung apple?'" (It will be difficult if Jessica Soho gets naked. It has to be gang rape all the time. The rapist will say, "Pass the pork!" Jessica will say, "But where's the apple?")
Watch the video of Vice Ganda here:
GMA reporters vented their anger on Twitter with many chiding him for his lighthearted treatment of rape. Netizens found his jokes "offensive" and tasteless.
Vice Ganda, sana di mo maranasan maging rape victim. Saglit mong patawa sa concert, buong buhay nilang trauma. @ vicegandako @ jiggymanicad — Bam Alegre (@BamAlegre) May 28, 2013
Para kay Vice Ganda, personal ko ito. Hindi joke ang salitang "rape." Pakiretweet po hanggang makaabot sa kanya. — Jiggy Manicad (@jiggymanicad) May 28, 2013
Vice ganda should realize that rape is not a joke. That rape is a form of violence. Pls RT hanggang umabot sa kanya. — maki pulido (@makipulido) May 28, 2013
On Tuesday, May 28, GMA news anchor Arnold Clavio took it to another level by making the incident the subject of his DZBB radio talk show with reporter Lala Roque.
He fumed, “Bakit mo binibiktima ang mga taong seryoso sa trabaho nila? Huwag mo silang kasangkapanin para lang makapagpagpatawa. Bakit hindi taga-diyan sa inyo ang gawin mong subject ng jokes mo? Bakit hindi taga-ABS?” (Why are you victimizing people who are serious at their work? Don't use them just to be funny. Why don't you use people from ABS as subjects for your jokes?).
In a statement released by GMA News Online Jessica Soho thanked all who "shared her hurt" but said the issue was about victims of rape.
"Rape is not a joke and should never be material for a comedy concert. I thank all those who shared my hurt and expressed their support, but this should not be about me but about rape victims who suffer tremendously from this terrible crime. The horrors they go through are unspeakable and should never be taken lightly, especially by way of a cruel joke."- Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.