MANILA, Philippines — Two GMA-7 shows, “Eat Bulaga” including its pre-programming “The Ryzza Mae Show”, are now in hot seats as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) summoned the producers to a mandatory conference Thursday over “scenes allegedly insensitive and unfriendly to children”.
According to MTRCB chair Atty. Toto Villareal, both shows featured scenes that “violate the dignity” of the 8-year old talent Ryzza Mae Dizon prompting them to call the producer of TAPE, Inc. and GMA Channel 7.
The Board cited the two incidents which were Eat Bulaga’s July 29 episode in the segment “Ang Joke Ko” where TV host Vic Sotto “spat juice on the face of child actress-host Dizon” and the Ryzza Mae Show’s August 14 episode where a contest winner named Gelsa told the child “landing bata ka.”
“We want to emphasize those children between one (1) and eight (8) years old are not yet capable of critical judgment. They are easily impressionable and still incapable of processing a joke as such,” Villareal said.
“We’re aware that it was just a joke, but kids watching the show don’t. They would think it’s OK to spit on another person’s face or to be spat on,” Villareal added.
However, on the August 14 episode, Dizon responded to the guest by asking not to be harsh as she was just a child.
“Bata pa po ako. Ate ‘wag ah, dahan dahan. Ikaw naman ang sungit mo sa akin,” Dizon told the contestant.
Villareal moreover said that children shall be treated properly, not like toys or pets.
“We’re a bit lucky because Ryzza Mae has a high intelligence quotient, and that she was able to express how she felt with the shabby treatment. Other kids are not as expressive,” he added.
The said episode has been uploaded in YouTube with almost half-a-million views.
The comment posted by a YouTube viewer stating that the child should not be treated on that way gained positive feedback.
“I think that merits a case…violence against children… Well if that’s [the contest winner’s] way of wanting to be famous, she succeeded. [But], she made a big mistake of making herself the laughing stock of the entire country,” the comment read.
Serious and urgent concern
In a statement by the MTRCB, it emphasized that there was “serious and urgent concern for the welfare of children, who are most vulnerable in media and entertainment.”
Thus, the body is expecting for the cooperation of all persons involved and urging the shows’ producers to make immediate and concrete steps to avoid the same issues in the future.
Meanwhile, TAPE Inc. senior vice president and chief operating officer Malou Choa-Fagar said in a text message, “we’ll attend the meeting. Ever since, we’ve cooperated…”
Dizon, the youngest host in Eat Bulaga, started her career when she was crowned as the Little Miss Philippines 2012. She also appears in the sitcom “Vampire Ang Daddy Ko” and was one of the casts of the fantasy-adventure film “Si Agimat, Si Enteng at Si Ako.”
Faye Michelle Regis
ABCom, Leyte Normal University