An official of TV5's noontime variety show E.A.T. apologized in writing to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) over host Joey De Leon's apparent suicide joke on air.
In a letter dated Sept. 25 addressed to MTRCB Chairperson Lala Sotto, Jeny Ferre—E.A.T.'s head of creatives and production operations—said they're writing to formally explain what happened on Sept. 23 during the show's "Gimme 5" segment.
The game requires participants to name five things in a given category. That day, it was things that could be put around the neck.
The participant only had necklace as an answer until time ran out. De Leon then said, "Lubid, lubid, nakakalimutan niyo. Lubid."
Ferre explained that De Leon "conveyed this verbally in a very brief manner without further actions, elaborations or demonstrations."
They acknowledged sentiments that it insinuated suicide, and said they're "regretful and apologetic to those who were offended by the said utterance."
"Rest assured that we are one with MTRCB in advocating a responsible viewing experience for the public," Ferre said.
Lala is the daughter and niece of E.A.T. co-hosts Tito Sotto and Vic Sotto, respectively. The MTRCB earlier said it's reviewing complaints against the show.
This is not the first time the show has landed in hot waters since it debuted on July 1. A month later, on Aug. 11, MTRCB summoned one of the show's hosts, Wally Bayola, for uttering profanity during its "Sugod Bahay Mga Kapatid" segment last Aug. 10. Bayola apologized on the same day MTRCB called out the show for the incident.
During the discussion of the proposed budget of the MTRCB for 2024, Bayola’s issue was once again brought up by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.
MTRCB board member Paulino Cases revealed that E.A.T. had indeed appeared before them to apologize for the incident. When asked why they didn’t suspend the show, Cases said that the case is still pending.
“We issued a notice of appearance and they did actually apologize for the statement and they submitted a position paper as well. It is now subject to a resolution, the case is pending,” Cases said.
With regards to De Leon’s issue, Lala explained that the E.A.T. production staff had voluntarily appeared before the MTRCB days after the incident to submit an apology letter.
When asked by Estrada if De Leon indeed committed a violation, Cases said that they are not in the position to give a decision as of now.
“We already took cognizance of the complaint that we received in our official social media, so we are now going to discuss it after the legal and affairs division brings the same matter to the attention of the adjudication committee,” he explained.
With reports from John Patrick Ranara