Vice Ganda aims to help workers who lost their jobs following his home network’s shutdown through his own digital network that will launch this Friday.
The “It’s Showtime” host announced this new venture Vice Ganda Network during at virtual press conference last Monday, on July 20, which was a week after the historic voting that denied ABS-CBN’s its franchise application.
“Dito lahat ang kailangan namin unahin i-accommodate ay ‘yung mga taga-ABS-CBN na wala munang pinagkakakitaan ngayon. Kailangan ko buksan itong proyektong ito para makapag-extend ng help sa kanila,” he said.
The veteran comedian also hoped to give a platform to his fellow stand-up comedians who likewise lost their livelihood during the lockdown amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Bukod sa nagagawa nila ‘yung passion nila, karagdagan kita sa kanila, para sa mga bakla,” he said.
Vice Ganda also expressed his gratitude to Viva Entertainment, an agency in partnership with ABS-CBN, for giving him the blessing and support for this project after years of working with them.
“Hiningi ko ito ng basbas sa ABS-CBN kaya nagpapasalamat ako, pati sa mga endorsers ko,” he said.
“I am so blessed that I was given the opportunity to work with the best people at ABS-CBN and viva who shared their wisdom with me. Napapaligiran ako ng magagaling na tao,” he added.
He also hoped that other artists would switch to join him and switch to digital to reach a wider audience.
“Di kayo pwedeng mawala sa kamalayan ng audience. Ang dami pang pwedeng gawin sa digital. This is the challenge and as artists we have to serve our purpose na pasayahin pa ang tao,” he said.
When his project began to stir discussions online, some Filipinos criticized the move for supposedly being insensitive and opportunistic of Vice Ganda to launch it after ABS-CBN’s license to operate got denied.
see when we tell you na hindi apektado ang mga artista? kasi may connections pa rin sila.
this is what we mean when we say stand with abs-cbn workers: stand with the people behind the cameras who are dedicated to bring us entertainment and news. sila ang dapat natin ipaglaban. https://t.co/QhOeMWEhTK
— ً (@siomaos) July 21, 2020
Vice Ganda was among the celebrities the public perceived as silent and passive compared to his close peers in the industry during the struggles of ABS-CBN in the past grueling congressional hearings tackling supposed legal issues for its franchise.
He also did not participate in any street protest to urge lawmakers to give his home network another chance for the sake of its 11,000 workers.
However, Vice Ganda had been posting his support to ABS-CBN and his colleagues on Instagram. He had also joined previous calls to bring the media giant back on the air.
Vice Ganda’s reactions after the franchise denial
In the historic voting last July 10, seventy lawmakers from the Lower House denied ABS-CBN’s application for a fresh 25-year franchise, which affected thousands of Filipinos nationwide.
Vice Ganda posted a hopeful message to his colleagues on July 15.
Mahihirapan ngunit kakayanin. Madadapa ngunit babangong muli. pic.twitter.com/Uol4G6ihPo
— jose marie viceral (@vicegandako) July 15, 2020
In a statement on July 17, Vice Ganda vented his anger toward them for their verdict.
Sa pagpapasara ng ABS CBN mawawalan ng malaking pagkakakitaan ang mga Lopez. Pero sigurado akong di sila maghihirap. Napakayaman na nila para maghirap. Ang totoong magdudusa dito ay ang mga pangkarinawang manggagawa na nawalan ng trabaho. Sila ang maghihirap.
— jose marie viceral (@vicegandako) July 17, 2020
“Ang totoong magdudusa dito ay ang mga pangkarinawang manggagawa na nawalan ng trabaho. Sila ang maghihirap,” he said.
“Kaya kung inaakala nyong nagtagumpay kayo e nagkakamali kayo. Mali ang natarget nyo. Mali ang pinatay ninyo. At lahat yan ay mumultuhin at gagambalain kayo. Alam nyo kung sino kayo!” he added.