An “Eat Bulaga” mainstay drew flak for joking about the rejected ABS-CBN broadcasting franchise on Twitter on Wednesday.
Host-comedian Joey de Leon on May 31 responded to a Twitter user who reacted about the noontime show’s split from its producer, the Television and Production Exponents (TAPE) Inc.
Joey and his fellow “Eat Bulaga” hosts Tito Sotto and Vic Sotto appeared on the noontime show’s Wednesday episode to announce the 44-year-old program’s departure from its longtime producer.
Tito said that they were already to work that day when the new management did not allow them to air live.
Before the announcement, the noontime show was airing a replay and not a live telecast.
The departure announcement was also only aired on YouTube and not on the GMA broadcast channel.
A Twitter user reacted to the incident on the same day and mentioned Joey in his tweet.
“Joey de Leon several times threw shade, ‘Kami may franchise.’ Now he’s experiencing the same for at least one day,” the user wrote, referring to the supposed incidents the host-comedian has commented on their rival network’s non-renewal of broadcasting franchise.
Joey saw the tweet and responded: “Totoo naman talaga ‘yun pero nawala rin… si Francise M. Gets?”
The TV host’s tweet was meant to be a joke and a play on late rapper Francis Magalona’s name but some Twitter users did not find it funny.
They cited that the ABS-CBN franchise non-renewal cost Filipinos thousands of job losses which also happened at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hoy @AngPoetNyo, ang lala ng galit mo sa ABS-CBN. Pathetic! Che!” a Pinoy partly exclaimed.
“Buti pa [ABS-CBN] kahit walang franchise, may show,” another Twitter user commented.
“Bakit mo ginagawang katatawanan ang pagkawala ng franchise ng isang istasyon?” questioned a different Filipino.
ABS-CBN, the rival network of GMA, was denied a broadcasting franchise renewal by the House of Representatives in May 2020.
It has resulted in the job loss of 11,000 Filipinos and millions of the public losing a source of crucial and timely information as the nation continuously faces catastrophic disasters and deals with a public health crisis.
The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility said that far-flung communities continue to suffer the effects of the network’s franchise loss three years after the shutdown.
When the country’s first typhoon of 2020 hit some areas, some checkpoint authorities in the Aurora Province expressed concern over the lack of information source, claiming that ABS-CBN was the only network that reached their area as free TV.
Among the latest blow was DZMM TeleRadyo’s announced closure as a pure ABS-CBN brand by the end of June.
The AM radio station has been the go-to of some Filipinos for monitoring news and other updates, especially when they have no means to access free TV or at times of electricity loss and only battery-powered radios are available.
Meanwhile, other Twitter users were also disturbed at what they believed was Joey’s mention of the legendary rapper in his attempt to joke on Twitter.
“Not funny! Dinamay mo pa si Francis M.,” a Twitter user partly wrote with a huffing face emoji.
“Kahit ang nananahimik [ng] si Francis M. dinamay po pa,” another Filipino commented.
“Leave Kiko out of this. Nananahimik na po siya. Konting respeto lang sana sa Magalona family,” wrote a different Pinoy, referring to Francis’ nickname.
Francis died at the age of 44 after a long battle with leukemia.
He used to be a part of the noontime variety show and was the one who reportedly coined the now popular term “Dabarkads,” referring to the “Eat Bulaga” family.
Also known as the “Master Rapper,” Francis introduced rap music to the local music scene at a time when it was still unheard of on Philippine radio.
Some of his hits include songs such as “Mga Kababayan Ko,” “Cold Summer Nights,” “Gotta Let Cha Know,” “Kaleidoscope World,” “Ito Ang Gusto Ko,” and “Girl Be Mine,” among others.