What MTRCB says after complaints vs Joey de Leon’s viral ‘lubid’ joke on E.A.T.

September 25, 2023 - 12:43 PM
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Gimme 5 hosts
Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon on the backdrop of "E.A.T.'s" Gimme 5 segment in this screengrab from a video posted by News5Everywhere on YouTube on Sept. 21, 2023 (News5Everywhere/YouTube)

Trigger Warning: Article contains mentions of suicide and descriptions that may trigger thoughts of suicide 

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) said it would “review complaints” it received about an episode of the noontime show “E.A.T.” where viewers felt host Joey de Leon had referenced suicide in his suggestion to a game segment.

During the “Gimme 5: Laro ng Mga Henyo” segment which aired during the Sept. 23, 2023 episode of E.A.T., the host-comedian suggested an answer to a game contestant who was tasked to give five things that can placed around someone’s neck.

The contestant was only able to give one item — necklace.

After the buzzer sounded, Joey commented: “Lubid, lubid. Nakakalimutan niyo.” He smiled and a laugh track was played on air.

A clip of the moment was posted by an account on the X (formerly Twitter) platform on the same day it aired. It has already earned 219,500 views and over 400 reposts so far.

“ANUNA [ANO NA] MTRCB?!!! ANUNA [ANO NA] LALA SOTTO??!!!
@mtrcb_ph @MTRCBgov,” the account wrote, tagging accounts of the MTRCB.

This led people to call out the MTRCB, which is mandated to “Advocate for a culture of authentic and responsible self-regulation in the movie and television industry,” among others.

“TW [Trigger Warning]: Suicide joke Hello, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. I think mas concerning ito. Joke during Suicide Prevention Month?” psychologist Riyan Portuguez commented on Facebook. 

The World Health Organization observes World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 annually. Others also make it to a week-long campaign through the Suicide Prevention Week such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

These campaigns raise awareness of suicide and amplify ways on how it can be prevented.

Mental health advocate RJ Naguit, a physician, also called the attention of the MTRCB about the clip.

“Hi @MTRCBgov! Reminding you of the media guidelines on suicide reporting that your office has released [or] signed up to. Hope you can do something about this show that might be triggering for some viewers,” he posted.

Another online user shared how Joey’s comment brought back painful memories for him.

“Having a brother who took his own life by asphyxia by strangulation, this clip brings back all [the] pain our family had to go through. How is this normal alarming for you @mtrcb_ph @MTRCBgov,” the user commented.

“Calling the attention of the MTRCB to summon E.A.T’s Joey De Leon for making the use of the s-word a laughing matter. Please sanction him and impose punishment for this. Jokes about the s-word should not be tolerated. Lala Sotto, please do your job,” another Pinoy wrote, citing MTRCB’s chair.

By Monday, the regulatory board released a statement addressing the complaints.

“Taking cognizance of the complaints from the viewing public in relation to E.A.T. Gimme 5 segment aired last 23 September 2023, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) shall determine if the same are valid and presumably violative of Presidential Decree No. 1986 and/or its Implementing Rules and Regulations,” it said on September 25.

Presidential Decree No. 1986 (series of 1985) creates the regulatory agency.

It also lists the MTRCB board’s powers, which include screening, reviewing and examining all motion pictures, including television programs.

The PD also said the board can disapprove, delete objectionable portions from and/or prohibit the importation, exportation, production, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition and/or television broadcast of a material if it is deemed to be “immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines or its people, or with a dangerous tendency to encourage the commission of violence or of a wrong or crime.”

Among the MTRCB’s missions, based on its website, is to “protect the Filipino child by empowering the family through rigorous campaigns and information drives to learn to evaluate and make appropriate, intelligent choices regarding media and entertainment content.”

It is also supposed to be committed to “deliver age-appropriate and value-based motion picture content to the viewers that have been effectively reviewed and classified.”

A leading cause of death 

Meanwhile, the WHO said that suicide takes more than 700,000 lives annually.

“For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide. A prior suicide attempt is an important risk factor for suicide in the general population,” it said in an August 28 report.

The United Nations organization said that suicide is also the fourth leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds.

Moreover, hanging, ingestion of pesticide and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.

For those who may need mental support and assistance, they can reach the National Center for Mental Health through the following numbers:

0917-899-8727, 0966-351-4518, 0908-639-2672 for cellphone and 1553 for hotline (toll-free Luzon-wide). 

They may also contact the Department of Health’s Mind Matters hotline at 0918-942-4864.

Individuals may likewise contact Hopeline, Natasha Goulbourn Foundation’s crisis support service, through the following numbers: 

0917-558-4673 or 2919 (Globe and TM subscribers), 0918-873-4673 (Smart), 8804-4673 (PLDT).