Women's commission: 'Eat Bulaga!' hosts guilty of victim-shaming

Joyce Jimenez - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) believes that some hosts of “Eat Bulaga!” were guilty of “victim-shaming” in the July 9 episode of the segment "Juan for All, All for Juan."

In the episode, host Sen. Vicente "Tito" Sotto commented on the life story of their female winner, who recalled that she got separated with her husband after she was taken advantage of a male friend after having a few drinks.

To this the senator said, "Kasalanan ng lahat ng iyan, e, ang pag-inom. Kababae mong tao pa-shot shot ka?"

He was also heard commenting, "Naka-shorts habang nagsa-shot?" when he learned that the lady wore shorts while having drinks with friends.

In a statement, the PCW said the senator and the two other hosts of the segment, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola, have "hastily indicated and stereotyped a female contestant who previously went through various kinds of abuses."

The commission said comments asking the lady to reenact how she begged her husband to stay were "examples of victim blaming and shaming which could be likened to fault-finding against rape and sexual harassment victims who were blamed for wearing sexy outfits, getting drunk or walking alone in dark street."

"Women should never carry the guilty and blame and likewise restrict their freedom and desires. Women should live equally with men," it added.

Sotto, for his part, said his comments were "a simple reaction saying that a married lady should not be out at night having shots [or drinking] with men other than her husband."

Although the PCW credited the show for its "good intentions in giving advice" to its winners and viewers, the group also reminded the hosts to be "cautious and ensure that they are not exposing the victim to further harm and vulnerability."

The commission also reminded other media outfits to "uphold its Code of Ethics and likewise observe gender sensitivity at all times, as mandated by the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) Section 16 which calls for the non-derogatory and discriminatory portrayal of media."

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) is set to meet with the executives of "Eat Bulaga!" on Thursday regarding the issue.

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