'Eat Bulaga,' etc.: Lala Sotto shares plans for MTRCB

Maridol Ranoa-Bismark - Philstar.com
'Eat Bulaga,' etc.: Lala Sotto shares plans for MTRCB
New MTRCB Chair Lala Sotto
Philstar.com / Maridol Ranoa-Bismark

MANILA, Philippines — Newly appointed Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chair Lala Sotto vows to be extra strict in monitoring programs on free TV to protect children who can watch these shows anytime without their parents’ knowledge or a supervising adult.

In a recent interview with members of The Entertainment and Arts Media (TEAM), Sotto, a former Quezon City councilor, explained that children can be exposed to objectionable TV content “with one push of a button.” She added that TV programs do not have the classification system (e.g. R-18 for adults) that movies do.

Sotto said no nudity, obscenity, violence and foul language will be aired, on TV as well as movie theaters.

How does she rate "Eat Bulaga," the long-running GMA-7 noontime show her father, former Senate president Tito Sotto and uncle Vic Sotto started, as far as following MTRCB guidelines are concerned?

“I’m very blessed and grateful the show practices self-regulation. 'Bulaga' has been around for so long, it already knows what to do before any issue arises,” Sotto replied. 

She plans to make MTRCB relevant to the times by collaborating with Netflix and hold further meetings with Amazon to see how her office can partner with them. She also looks forward to meeting local online streamers and see how MTRCB can connect better with them. Also in the pipeline is an MTRCB mobile app, whose features are under development.

Tito Sotto and Helen Gamboa’s daughter described her first few weeks in office as “wonderful.” Local movies are picking up (controversial films "Katips" and "Maid in Malacanang" are blockbusters). This, she said, is a good sign. It means more work for actors, who will hopefully get more chances to make films. It also means more income for local cinema, which has been suffering from lack of audience attendance due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, as a private citizen, the MTRCB boss and mother is amused at the unsolicited advice she’s getting from her outspoken children. Sotto shared her children find her too strict, and want her to loosen up.

When she asked them what "LOL" means (laugh out loud), and Sotto reacted by saying one should just say “LOL,” her children told her they don’t find anything wrong with "Laugh Out Loud."

“For our generation, it’s a bad word,” Sotto chuckled.

Now, she knows what this and other acronyms, which could crop up in today’s movie and TV dialogues, mean. She could use the knowledge in evaluating TV shows and films submitted to MTRCB for classification.

RELATED: 'Stressed talaga ako': Pauleen Luna recalls courtship with Vic Sotto



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