Not yet final! MTRCB clarifies suspension order on ‘It’s Showtime’ after backlash

September 6, 2023 - 12:49 PM
The audience during the September 5 episode of "It's Showtime" (itsShowtimena/Facebook)

The suspension of ABS-CBN’s “It’s Showtime” is not yet final. It will only take effect after the show’s appeal to the ruling, according to the regulatory board following the flak it received from fans online.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) earlier issued a 12-day suspension order against the long-running noontime variety show due to alleged “indecent” behavior exhibited by program hosts Vice Ganda and Ion Perez in one of its episodes.

Fans of “It’s Showtime” took to social media to express their outrage and frustrations against MTRCB and its chairperson Lala Sotto-Antonio.

RELATED: ‘Tayo ang Showtime!’: Vice Ganda shares poignant message following suspension order 

These reactions prompted the MTRCB to explain its policies in a statement issued on Tuesday, September 5.

“It’s Showtime” production team are the respondents of the case being referred to here.

“Despite the imposition of the penalty, respondents have the right to file a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the decision. Should the respondents find the Board’s decision on the MR unfavorable, they may choose to appeal to the Office of the President within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the decision on the MR,” the Board said.

“The order suspending the show shall only take effect after the lapse of the aforementioned periods without the respondents having filed their MRs or appeals,” it added.

Therefore, new episodes of “It’s Showtime” can still air on A2Z and GTV channels amid the pending final decision of the regulators.

MTRCB also stated that Lala inhibited herself from voting, thus ensuring independent results during the board meeting on August 29.

“This decision was made with careful consideration of prior warnings and offenses associated with the show. Chairperson Lala Sotto inhibited from voting, ensuring that members of the Board exercised their independent judgment in determining the appropriate course of action,” it said.

According to MTRCB’s head

Lala is the daughter of Tito Sotto, co-host of “It’s Showtime’s” rival noontime E.A.T. on TV5.

She found herself in the crosshairs of “It’s Showtime” supporters after MTRCB previously flagged the latter for alleged “indecent acts” shown in one of its episodes.

The program’s producers were also summoned at that time.

In an interview with GMA News, Lala explained: “With others, puwede naman talagang ma-suspend na kanina pa lang. But no, again, in the spirit of fairness, we’re giving them the chance kaya hindi sila suspended today. We will wait for its finality.”

RELATED: ‘Double standards, prejudice’: MTRCB chair under fire for defending ‘E.A.T.’ 

Update from the network

ABS-CBN has already filed a motion for reconsideration before the MTRCB.

This update was read by “It’s Showtime” host Jhong Hilario during the September 5 episode.

“Habang nakabinbin ang Motion for Reconsideration, ang desisyon ng suspension ng programa ay hindi pa pinal at epektibo. Kaya sa ngayon ay patuloy niyo pong mapapanood ang ‘It’s Showtime,’” the statement reads as conveyed by Jhong.

“Patuloy rin kaming makikipag-ugnayan sa MTRCB para makapagpatuloy ang ‘It’s Showtime’ sa paghahatid ng libangan at saya sa minamahal naming ‘Madlang People,’” he added.

A video clip of it was also uploaded on “It’s Showtime” social media channels.

Viewers can also catch “It’s Showtime” episodes through live streams on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Online Live YouTube channel and the series’ official website.

By law, MTRCB’s jurisdiction on TV covers “all materials or content seen on free television and cable television, on UHF or VHF, including those seen on digital terrestrial television, or through direct-to-home facilities, whether local or foreign, such as, but not limited to, teleseryes, noontime live programs, full-length movies, and the like.”