Even “walkers” have to contend with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
MTRCB Chairman Eugenio Villareal recently sat down with local officials of Fox International Channel, distributor of the popular American post-apocalyptic drama series “The Walking Dead,” to discuss the local rating system for television.
“Walkers,” also known as zombies, lurkers, roamers or biters, are the main antagonists in “The Walking Dead.” They are mindless, violent creatures that were once human.
“Fox implements self-regulatory measures, for example, by airing warnings for shows like ‘The Walking Dead.’ Since it brings in content that are mostly of foreign origin, its officials wanted to know how they could make the measures more consistent with the local TV rating system,” Villareal told the Inquirer.
Since the MTRCB also has jurisdiction over cable companies, Villareal regarded this as a “welcome development.” He explained: “It was good that Fox [execs] were very enthusiastic and wanted to learn. They asked about ’SPG’ (Strict Parental Guidance) and, generally, about the intricacies of all the ratings.”
Also present during the “Matalinong Panonood nina Juan at Juana” seminar conducted at the Fox offices in Taguig City were MTRCB members Manet Dayrit, Liezl Martinez, Gabby Concepcion and Jay Revistir, as well as spokespersons Ann Marie Nemenzo and Tony Veloso. Fox VP/head for Philippine territory Jude Turcuato led the group of Fox officials and employees.
“The good thing about that whole exercise was that, in the end, they all realized that, more than company officials and employees, they are also parents, or big brothers and sisters who should be concerned about the welfare of young viewers,” the MTRCB chief added.
The MTRCB likewise conducted recent “engagements” with the Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association of the Philippines (Fictap) and the Philippine Cable Television Associations Inc. (PCTA).
Villareal also reported a recent “get-together” that he attended with officials and employees of the cable channel INC (Iglesia Ni Cristo) TV. He recounted, “It was a talk that was turned into a taped hour-long TV program, wherein I explained all the ratings.”
The MTRCB chair explained why the talk was important: “The INC is a significant faith-based organization and is into media. They initiated this. They’ve been very supportive of the MTRCB ever since I can remember.”
Villareal recently delivered a “Matalinong Panonood” lecture before the legal sector at a conference with the theme “Beyond Likes and Hashtags,” held at the Peninsula Manila in Makati City.
In the lecture, he discussed “media and the legal profession and their impact on the dynamics of audience sensitivity.” This, he added, has been a popular topic since the controversial case of broadcaster Arnold Clavio.
In November 2013, the MTRCB issued a “grave and serious admonition” to GMA Network Inc., its show “Unang Hirit” and Clavio, one of the program’s hosts, who was said to have used “rude language” when interviewing on air Alfredo Villamor, one of the lawyers of the alleged pork-barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.