Several personalities raised calls to respect servers after vlogger-actress Alex Gonzaga was seen smearing the forehead of a worker with a cake icing during her advanced 35th birthday party.
Content creator Dani Barretto on Monday shared a clip of the moment on her Instagram Story, where the vlogger was presented with a tray of chocolate cake with lighted candles.
Lipa City Councilor Mikee Morada, Alex’s husband, can be seen standing behind her while other attendees sing before she blows out the candles.
Alex then blew out the candle, placed her palm on top of the cake and then gleefully wiped it on the forehead of the server holding the cake tray.
The server briefly turned his head away while Alex and the rest can be heard cheering.
The clip was reshared by a Twitter user and has gained 4.9 million views so far.
— ʍ乇ω⚘ﾟ (@Shortee3MEW) January 16, 2023
The video has reached some personalities who expressed their disdain at the incident and called for servers to be respected.
“Respect service workers… just because you pay them does not mean you can do anything to them,” content creator Oliver of Otakoyakisoba said on Facebook.
“Most of them have very stressful jobs that don’t pay much. They deal with a lot of people every day that don’t necessarily treat them equally. As someone who used to work in customer service, and some family members who still do, we know it first hand,” he added.
“They can’t and don’t complain because they’re afraid of losing their job that feeds them and their family. If you don’t know anyone or [are] not closely related to them, don’t include them in your ‘jokes’ and humiliate them for your content. Even if it was with consent, some will feel the pressure and just go along with it even if they feel uncomfortable,” Oliver continued.
“Paalala na ‘yung mga jokes dapat nakakatuwa for all parties involved,” Miss Universe Philippines 2021 semifinalist Ayn Bernos tweeted on the day the video turned viral.
“Umm… when you try to make joke, ‘wag na magdamay ng iba… [especially] ‘yung mga nagtratrabaho. This is whatcha call ’emotional labor,'” film director Gino Santos tweeted.
“Emotional labor” is defined by a sociologist as “a situation where the way a person manages his or her emotions is regulated by a work-related entity in order to shape the state of mind of another individual, such as a customer.”
Vogue Magazine gave the following as an example:
“A restaurant server is told by their manager to ‘put on a smile’ to serve a rude customer — not when a friend feels overloaded by another friend’s emotional needs. In a more extreme example, ’emotional labor’ might be the work an employee is forced to do to swallow their feelings about a racist or sexist comment in the workplace, to avoid alienating coworkers, superiors, or customers.”
DJ Suzy of Magic 89.9 also aired her thoughts on the viral video.
“There’s a special place in hell for people who show no respect to servers. I can’t stand people like that,” she tweeted.
“What if ‘yung server ang gumawa sa kanya nun. Ano kaya ang mararamdaman [niya]?” content creator and pharmacist Arshie Larga commented.
“Ginagawa rin naman natin ‘yan PERO sa mga taong ka-close lang natin. Hindi sa taong gusto lang naman magtrabaho [nang] maayos,” he added.
Physician and “G Talks” host Gia Sison also had similar sentiments.
“Buti sana kung close sila, eh hindi eh. Napaka-distasteful and disrespectful. Dito ko talaga napatunayan na money can’t buy class. #WalangKwenta,” she tweeted.
A news outlet also shared a quote card that Twitter users thought referred to the incident, despite it not dropping any names.
“Here’s a reminder that you should treat people the way you want to be treated. (one hundred percent sign) #INQspiration,” Inquirer.net said in its caption.
The quote card featured a lighted cupcake with a phrase from American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, which reads: “Men are respectable only as they respect.”
Alex reportedly celebrated her birthday in advance at the Joya Lofts and Towers in Rockwell, Makati on January 15.
Her birthday is on January 16.
The vlogger-actress has not yet issued a statement about the issue as of this writing.