Gretchen Barretto issues public apology on ‘insensitive’ viral video, hits back at being called ‘plastic’
Gretchen Barretto has spoken up about the viral video that showed her and her friends laughing while reading a letter-request from a fan last week.
In an Instagram Live video she posted on Saturday, June 9, she along with friends Mimi Que and Patty Pineda issued an apology for laughing at the letter they received as part of their wish-granting project.
Their online granting of wishes began as an Easter giveaway but has since continued, and has focused on providing for medical needs, and at times education and livelihood.
The video which has been circulating on social media shows Pineda reading a letter asking for help; as she was reading, Que and Barretto burst into laughter with her. Critics attributed the supposed insensitive laughter of the three to the way the letter was written, since the letter sender was from Surigao.
Barretto said she and her friends learned much from the reaction to the video: “It was very rude I admit, it was very inappropriate, unladylike for us to behave that way.”
They said they had apologized personally to the sender, Jo-Ann Mula on the same night of the incident. Barretto explained that the uploaded video, which had since been taken down, was incomplete: “Hindi namin pinagtawanan ang may sakit (We weren’t laughing at the sick).”
Mula told INQUIRER.net that she understood why they were laughing.
“Akala nila lahat ng persons doon may request ako sa anak ko, kapatid ko na may cancer.. hindi pala Ensure [milk] lang pala…” she said. “Ok lang po.. nakakatawa naman talaga.”
(They thought I had requests for my son and my brother who has cancer; it’s just the Ensure milk that I want. It’s OK, it really is funny.)
“Sorry po at minsan nakakalimutan ko po na 48 years old na ako (I’m sorry and sometimes I forget that I’m 48 years old) and I should be behaving my age,” Barretto said. “I am glad that we are going through this trial, this hurdle because it is only through this kind of situation we grow. And so we’re learning to grow and tears won’t hurt. It won’t kill us.”
Since the video and the ensuing reactions, Barretto has been posting messages from both supporters and detractors.
View this post on Instagram
@kendacico AND WHAT WILL I GAIN FROM BEING PLASTIC ?! ( or Pakitang tao ) I have retired from show business, I am not into politics) I do not need your approval.Move on … Get a life. You are projecting your anger & bitterness towards me. Be productive, work & earn a living & help others before you waste precious time on me ( someone you don’t know personally) peace , love & light🙏 if you think you can bully me by posting nasty comments, this ones for you 💋 BRING IT ON…. I’m ready for you 💕🤣💋
One of the messages shared by Barretto was from a certain Ken Dadico Olithao (@kendadico), who lambasted her charitable acts: “Ung Pag Tulong mo sa mga kapuspalad ay isang pakitang tao mo lang (sic). Ang plastik ng pagkatao mo.”
(Your help to the unfortunate is only for show. Your character is so fake.)
“And what will I gain from being plastic?!” Barretto retorted. “I have retired from show business, I am not into politics. I do not need your approval. Move on… Get a life.”
Her message for the netizen may well be her message to other critics: “You are projecting your anger & bitterness towards me. Be productive, work earn a living & help others before you waste precious time on me (someone you don’t know personally).”
“If you think you can bully me by posting nasty comments, this one’s for you,” she said.
She also explained in her apology that posting the grants on her Instagram was to show the grantees that their wishes had been delivered.
“If you can solve that problem for me, we could do it privately, I don’t have to announce it,” she reasoned. “But to be honest, this is our way to get in touch with the real world.”
Barretto also said she’s not going to give up helping others just yet. She declared, “I’m not going to quit.” JB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.