MANILA, Philippines – Calling its host “insensitive,” the Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) when it suspended TV5’s “Willing Willie” for a month over its episode in which a 6-year-old boy was cajoled into dancing like a lusty macho dancer.
In its 11-page decision, the appeals court, through Associate Justice Manuel M. Barrios, said the MTRCB validly imposed the one-month suspension over the show of Willie Revillame for its “offensive and obscene segment.”
“What is clear is that respondent MTRCB validly and correctly performed its duty as enjoined by law in reviewing and assessing the subject content and thereafter, imposing the proper sanction when the content was found indecent, immoral or obscene,” the appeals court said.
In his petition, Revillame denied committing abuse when they allowed the child to perform. In fact, he said he changed the song from “Careless Whisper” to “Next Episode” to avoid sexual connotation.
He maintained that there was no intention on their part to ridicule or abuse the boy.
But the appeals court said the fact that the song was changed highlights the fact that Revillame knew that the planned dance number smacked of sexual innuendos.
“A review of the recording of that segment shows a 6-year old boy gyrating like a macho dancer while being cajoled and goaded by the show’s host and the audience…is commonly perceived as transpiring only in night clubs and other shadowy establishments,” the appeals court said.
“Additionally, it reveals the emotional pain on the part of the child and the insensitivity of the host and the audience in egging the boy on even as he was already in tears…Needless to state, while money has great utility and is beneficial in these times of want, it must never be used as justification to sacrifice good morals, decency, self-respect and the psychological well-being of its citizens especially the young,” the appeals court said.
The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has suspended TV host Willie Revillame’s show for one month amid public uproar over its March 12 episode wherein a 6-year-old was persuaded into simulating a striptease.
The MTRCB concluded that the episode of “Willing Willie” violated a law against immoral and indecent broadcasts that run counter to Filipino values.