After E.A.T’s letter, viewers demand apology from Joey de Leon for ‘lubid’ joke

September 28, 2023 - 1:58 PM
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 management of the noontime show “E.A.T.” expressed regret and an apology over its main host Joey de Leon‘s remarks in a recent episode, which garnered controversy online.

Joey suggested an answer to a game contestant who was asked to give five things that can be placed around a person’s neck during the “Gimme 5: Laro ng Mga Henyo” segment of the show. It aired on September 23.

“Lubid, lubid. Nakakalimutan niyo,” the veteran host said after the contestant was only able to give only one answer.

Joey, Tito Sotto and his brother Vic form the TVJ Productions, Inc. of “E.A.T.”

The remark drew flak on social media, citing it as insensitive, distasteful and triggering.

The slew of complaints prompted the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to review the episode for possible violations of the law.

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

Reactions on ‘E.A.T.’ letter

On September 27, uploaded a copy of a letter that E.A.T. management sent to the regulatory board to formally explain the incident.

The letter was sent and received on September 25.

Jeny Ferre, E.A.T. Head of Creatives and Production Operations, told MTRCB that the show’s management is “regretful and apologetic to those who were offended” by Joey’s comment.

“Rest assured that we are one with the MTRCB in advocating a responsible viewing experience for the public,” Jeny said.

She also defended Joey’s “lubid” comment, saying he “conveyed this verbally in a very brief manner without further actions.”

“During the said incident, Mr. Joey de Leon suggested ‘lubid’ (rope) as an answer to a question regarding things that may be worn around the neck. He conveyed this verbally in a very brief manner without further actions, elaborations or demonstrations,” Ferre said.

“However, some viewers interpreted the utterance of the said object to be an insinuation of suicide, which is a very sensitive and triggering subject,” she added.

This statement further earned criticism from Filipinos. They called on Joey to apologize himself.

“It should be coming from the person who said it on air,” a Filipino commented on Facebook.

“Asan si Sir Joey diyan na sinasabi niyong apologetic? Eh siya yung dapat humarap at humingi ng apology,” another Facebook user said.

“Bakit di yung gumawa ang nag apologize? Anong saysay nan?” an X user also said.

Other Filipinos also criticized “E.A.T.” production executive to be passing the fault onto the viewers, citing the “some viewers interpreted” part of the letter.

“Luh what kind of apology is this? You should apologize to the viewers but why direct agad sa MTRCB, and hello, ‘some viewers interpreted?’ So kasalanan pa ng viewers?” an X user said.

“That is not an apology though. Kasalanan pa ng mga tao if they were triggered?” another X user said.

Joey has yet to respond on the matter.

MTRCB, meanwhile, is headed by the daughter of Tito and Helen Sotto, Lala Sotto-Antonio.

Neither Sotto nor the regulatory board has issued an update to this case so far.

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

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).