A mix of outrage and support broke out on social media after Toni Gonzaga released an interview with Bongbong Marcos on the "greatest lessons" he learned from his father.
The interview, posted on Gonzaga's YouTube channel, was put up in time for Marcos' birthday on Sept. 13 and a few days before the 49th anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law in the Philippines.
Some Filipinos expressed online how the exchange swept under the rug the atrocities and injustices under the dictatorship, as the actress only asked softball questions about the former president's legacy. Others also noted how the video is an instrument of historical revisionism and how questions were framed to humanize and change the people's perceptions of the dictator.
this isnt about her giving a platform for different political parties to be neutral, lol. inviting bongbong marcos to talk positively about his father is toni gonzaga actively participating in historical revisionism. let's not pretend otherwise. https://t.co/uvnHJ5eCiP— 🐱🩹 (@_kittyheals) September 13, 2021
Dapat may portion na— Maria Sol Taule (@soltaule) September 13, 2021
"Oh my goodness ungkatan ng past" dun sa interview ni Toni Gonzaga kay BBM kung saan kilala ang pamilya nila.
Why give that man a platform? Sa dami ng pinatay, tinorture, dinukot ng pamilya Marcos, ano ka ignorante, apologist, walang values o basura?
Artist Tarantadong Kalbo posted an illustration on Twitter, captioned with "Elephant in the room," which illustrated how the interview failed to have Marcos address and acknowledge the human rights violations and victims of his father's martial law.
E l e p h a n t I n T h e R o o m pic.twitter.com/duCefpsb0k— Tarantadong Kalbo (@KevinKalbo) September 13, 2021
Meanwhile, other users argued that Gonzaga is neutral and objective, mentioning how she also previously interviewed Atty. Chel Diokno—whose father was imprisoned during martial law—and Vice President Leni Robredo on her YouTube channel.
Toni Gonzaga launched Toni Talks and you subscribed without her telling you to do so. And now you want to filter her contents. You also want to control what her guests would answer. What are you? A dictator? Oh i forgot, y'all hate that word. 🥴— Adriel (@stylebyadriel) September 14, 2021
To b fair, Toni has interviewed VP Leni also. So i think she is just being neutral— James Cedric Lim Hassan (@JamesCedricLim) September 13, 2021
We shld not quick to judge if it goes out our way or principles, she is just trying to present to us & later b the judge. We shld also b open minded that life works that way. There shld b respect
Meanwhile, other users argued that for Gonzaga to be truly neutral, she should also sit down with martial law victims in her vlogs. They also cited the TV host's connection to BBM and how he was a godfather at her and Paul Soriano's wedding.
Toni Gonzaga was never neutral. Having Blingblong as your ninong doesn't sound so neutral to me. She's definitely chosen a side a long time ago.— Mayee Barredo (@mayeebarredo) September 14, 2021
Toni Gonzaga should know the quote by a bishop:— Sir P (@lanzegrabesuper) September 13, 2021
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality” https://t.co/qQX5g3RATX
Challenging Toni Gonzaga to interview a Martial Law survivor.— Shigemi Muramatsu (成美) (@ShigemiMur) September 14, 2021
The Bongbong Marcos interview now has over 1.1 million views on YouTube and is the eighth top trending video on the platform.