Anthony Taberna slammed for blaming rape victim; quickly apologizes to public
Monday morning wasn’t so beautiful and kind to “Umagang Kay Ganda” host Anthony “Tunying” Taberna. The host recently came under fire for his apparent victim-blaming of a rape victim during the morning show’s episode last Feb. 19.
Critics pointed out that Taberna’s remarks only contribute in perpetuating rape culture.
Taberna’s statements didn’t escape spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severo’s scrutiny, as he took to Twitter last Monday to share the video of Taberna making his remarks live on “Umagang Kay Ganda”.
Severo called out Taberna in his tweets: “So in today’s episode of @ukgdos, Anthony Taberna decided to victim-blame a woman who was gang raped. Oh, this man. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking na hindi nakagaganda ng umaga – at ng buhay! – ang mga ganitong tao sa TV. (I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that people like this on TV do not make mornings, nor life, beautiful.)”
In the video, a news report of a 19-year-old girl was delivered; she was allegedly gang-raped after meeting up with someone she was chatting with online.
In the background, however, Taberna’s voice can be heard, saying, “Pambihira naman, o. Eto po ay hindi first time na nangyari, napakadaming pagkakataon na yang eyeball eyeball na yan, ang mas delikado nakipag-eyeball ka na nga, nakipag-inuman ka pa. Yan ang problema, yun ang mabigat sa lahat, lalo’t puro lalake ka-inuman mo.”
(This is just remarkable. It’s not the first time that this happened. There have been so many incidents like this of eyeball meet-ups. What’s more dangerous is you not only go to that eyeball meet-up, you even went out for a drink. That’s the problem, that’s the hardest of all, especially since you’re drinking out with an all-male group.)
We deserve better than statements that normalize the boys-will-be-boys mindset. Rape doesn’t happen because victims put themselves in vulnerable situations, rape happens because rapists rape. pic.twitter.com/sMU03j7Dbl
— Juan Miguel Severo (@TheRainBro) February 19, 2018
One of the co-hosts of the show, Jeff Canoy, was heard countering Taberna. “Madalas usually pinapa-alalahanan yung mga babae na wag sumama, wag uminom,” said Canoy. “Pero dapat yung blame talaga eh yung nasa lalake. Pag sinabi ng babae wag, wag, diba.“
(Usually, women are reminded to not go, to not drink. But the blame really should be on the man. If the woman say “no,” that means “no.”)
Taberna, however, didn’t stop there. Seemingly cutting off Canoy, Taberna responded that in truth, women shouldn’t put themselves in dangerous situations.
“Hindi, sa totoo lang, madali sabihin yang sa lalaki eh. Pasensya na dun sa biktima yun dapat mabigyan ng katarungan,” said Taberna. “Pero ito para sa future na pangyayari. Kapag ka ikaw ay babae, wag kang papasok sa lungga ng mga tulisan.”
(No. The truth is it’s easy to say that to men. Excuse me in so far as the victim is concerned, the one who must be given justice. But this should be a [warning] for future incidents. If you’re a woman, don’t enter a hole of evil-doers.)
It wasn’t long after until people started to call Taberna out for his statements. Severo himself added we deserve better than statements that normalise the boys-will-be-boys mentality. “Rape doesn’t happen because victims put themselves in vulnerable situations, rape happens because rapists rape.”
Meanwhile, netizen Ralph Orense (@WokenRalph) enumerated all the media personalities who blamed victims and were never punished for their statements.
Editor and award-winning poet Alma Anonas-Carpio, on the other hand, told Taberna his comments were unwarranted. “It was vile, it was unethical. Shame on you. In my honest and unvarnished opinion, you really shouldn’t be wearing a press tag.”
Women’s rights activist Jean Enriquez, too, called for the removal of Taberna from the morning show, saying we don’t need sexist media persons in this day and age of the #MeToo movement.
“I have had enough of over-confident commentators shaping public opinion and reinforcing deeply biased, ignorant perspectives,” wrote Enriquez. “Require that sociology courses be taken by media persons.”
The official Twitter account of Umagang Kay Ganda (@ukgdos) immediately reached out to Severo, thanking him for his feedback. “Thank you for your feedback. Umagang Kay Ganda values comments from its viewers and we have called the attention of Anthony Taberna on the concern you have raised. Rest assured we are addressing this matter.”
Taberna has also apologized for his remarks in this morning’s episode of “Umagang Kay Ganda”. He pointed out that even before the news report last Monday, he always mentions that rapists have no place in society.
“Kailanman po ay hindi ko kakampihan ang mga demonyong ito. Subalit alam ko rin na merong mga hindi nagustuhan ang aking komento at ang aking paalaala, ipinalagay na paninisi sa biktima,” explained Taberna. “Hindi po yun ang aking intensiyon. Nais ko rin pong sabihin na hindi ko sinisisi ang biktima sa nangyari. Dapat pong panagutin sa batas ang mga kriminal.”
“Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin sa mga nasaktan sa aking komento at mas magiging maingat po ako sa susunod na pagkakataon,” he added.
(Never will I take the side of these demons. But I am aware that there are those who did not like my comment and my reminder, misinterpreted as victim-blaming. That was not my intention. I want to say that I am not blaming the victim on what happened. The criminal should be punished by law. I express my apologies to those who were hurt by my comment. I will be more careful next time.) JB
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