Lea Salonga irked by fans who barged into her Broadway dressing room for photo op
Lea Salonga did not mince words when she told fans to respect artists’ boundaries after some of her supporters approached the Broadway star in her dressing room for a photo opportunity while claiming that they’re “friends” with “Here Lies Love” co-producer G Tongi.
A video uploaded on social media showed some fans pleading for Salonga to have her photo taken with them in her dressing room, with the latter reminding them that they’re “not allowed” to approach her backstage as they’re not “included on the guest list.”
The fans, however, appeared to be determined to have their photo taken with Salonga, as they claimed that they’re acquainted with G Tongi. In response, Salonga remained firm as she reminded them that fans are not allowed to enter a celebrity’s dressing room for “security purposes.”
“If I allow this now, then people are gonna take advantage [of the situation],” Salonga said. “Hindi po namin kayo pwede ipasok (We’re not allowing you to go inside) because it’s for security purposes. Please find [G Tongi], there’s a spot. Please don’t do this again.”
However, the group didn’t budge on Salonga’s request, as they continued to corner the latter while she was seemingly walking in the theater. The visibly annoyed singer-actress then asked the group to head towards the exit as she pointed out, “Okay, it says exit on the door. ‘Yan ang sundin niyo (That’s what you should follow).”
As of this writing, the now-viral encounter appeared to have either been taken down or set in private, though some netizens re-uploaded the video on social media.
If your are really a fan then give her a space.
Pero naging considerate pa din ang isang @MsLeaSalonga at pinagbigyan naman un request ng fanneys.
🎥Cristopher Retokelly Carpila pic.twitter.com/L4heb6lT3T
— Madam Beki Not Vidanes❤️💙💚 (@MadamWanderBeki) July 16, 2023
Responding to the incident, Salonga reshared on Twitter a video of her interview where she underscored the importance of respecting a public figure’s “personal boundaries,” as she noted that there are “crazy people” with “bad intentions.”
“Thanks for sharing this. Allow me to quote. This is the mindset of many folks in the industry. If you get it, that’s good. If you don’t, then I have no good words for you,” her tweet read.
Thanks for sharing this. Allow me to quote.
This is the mindset of many folks in the industry. If you get it, that’s good. If you don’t, then I have no good words for you. https://t.co/1YHha4acHB
— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) July 17, 2023
The singer-actress also revealed in response to one @uberALFRED that she asked G Tongi if she’s aware of the fans’ identities, where her co-producer said she “had no idea” who they were.
I checked in with G after this happened….. she had no idea who they were.
— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) July 16, 2023
In that video, Salonga said that her husband constantly reminds her that her fans and that she should be grateful to them, but “personal boundaries” are not part of the package. She said that celebrities, too, have a responsibility to keep themselves safe.
“When personal boundaries are violated, how am I supposed to react? If you’re gonna ask me for a hug, I may not always wanted a hug because you’re a stranger and I don’t know what your intentions are. So there’s also that. Malay ko kung may kutsilyo kang hawak at baka saksakin mo ako kung niyakap mo ko? I think that kind of paranoia is in the mind of a lot of artists, and we should rightfully have that,” she said.
“It sounds really heavy and grave, but just think of people like John Lennon and we’ve lost him prematurely because there was some fan who took it upon himself to take him away from the world,” she added.
‘Let’s just be fair’
Carpila, the video’s original uploader, defended himself and his fellow fans after the now-viral encounter with Salonga on his Facebook page, as he stressed that he would post a video explaining why they approached the Disney star backstage.
“Pag-usapan po natin ‘yung kumakalat na kalembang o ingay sa socmed dahil sa pinost ko na nag-viral na issue tungkol kay Madam Lea at ‘yung grupo namin na nand’un sa venue ng ‘Here Lies Love,’” he said.
“Nag-video ako para ipaalam sa inyo na ipopost ko ‘yung [follow-up video] na kung saan bakit nand’un po kami. Kaya sana kapag napanood niyo po ‘yan ay maging fair po tayo para masala kung bakit kami nand’un. Hindi ko po pagpipilitan kung anong maging conclusion niyo pero let’s just be fair,” he continued.
(Let’s talk about the viral video that’s circulating on social media regarding our encounter with Madam Lea in the venue of “Here Lies Love.” I will post a follow-up video to inform you why we were there in the first place. I hope that you could watch it so you could fairly observe why we were in that spot. I can’t control how you’ll make your conclusions but let’s just be fair.)
Netizens come to Salonga’s defense
Meanwhile, some netizens came to Salonga’s defense saying the Broadway star’s dressing room is her “private space.”
ABS-CBN executive Eric John Salut said he understands where Salonga was coming from, as some fans could be “rude.”
“Kaya utang na loob, tantanan nyo si Ms. Lea! Kung ako yun, tatawag ako ng marshals. Huwag nyo ako charotin kahit magkababayan pa tayo. Kung nasa guest list ka, sige go, i-honor ko yun. E ang kaso wala eh,” he added.
(Leave Ms. Lea alone! I would call the marshals if I were her. Don’t come to me with your claims even if we have the same nationality. If you’re on the guest list, go, I’ll honor that. But you’re not even there.)
Ewan ko lang ha. I completely undertand @MsLeaSalonga!!! I myself is a fan. Kahit na magkaroon man ako ng access to her dressing room, I will never barge into her dressing room. I remember, she guested in The Buzz (where I was a part of the production team) years ago, gusto ko…
— Eric John Salut (@ericjohnsalut) July 17, 2023
One @johninamillion said, “On the #LeaSalonga video: DRESSING ROOMS are PRIVATE SPACES of the artists. You are only allowed to go inside the dressing rooms if you are part of the production or if the artist invited you to go inside it.”
On the #LeaSalonga video:
DRESSING ROOMS are PRIVATE SPACES of the artists. You are only allowed to go inside the dressing rooms if you are part of the production or if the artist invited you to go inside it.
— John Mark Yap (@johninamillion) July 16, 2023
Another @itstheemille wrote, “In my 12 years in the film biz I already met most of the people I looked up to growing up and I can say Lea Salonga is one of the classiest and nicest [women] I have ever met. Respect artists’ boundaries, there’s [a] right place meeting your heroes. That’s the tweet.”
In my 12 years in the film biz I already met most of the people I looked up to growing up and I can say Lea Salonga is one of the classiest and nicest woman I have ever met. Respect artists boundaries,there’s right place meeting your heroes. That’s the tweet. @MsLeaSalonga https://t.co/MgJu8mEKu8 pic.twitter.com/wyrFPlm1LS
— Emille Joson 🎬💅🏻 (@itstheemillej) July 17, 2023
Meanwhile, Twitter user @mojojo151 said Salonga taught her fans to observe proper “etiquette” when it comes to showing admiration.
“With all these Lea Salonga dressing room fiascos, all I can say is Lea’s true [fans] wouldn’t dare to do what those people did! All these years she taught us how to respect her boundaries and [have so-called] etiquette,” they added.
With all these Lea Salonga dressing room fiascos, all I can say is Lea’s true fan wouldn’t dare to do what those people did!
All these years she taught us how to respect her boundaries and have a so-called etiquette!😉
— Jojo (@mojojo151) July 16, 2023
Another @jalenyappiee said that Salonga even waited for the fans to go outside the dressing room to take her picture “shows her dedication to maintaining a positive fan-artist relationship.”
THE FACT THAT Lea Salonga’s decision to wait for the fans outside the dressing room and guide them to the designated spot where they could take a picture with her. shows her dedication to maintaining a positive fan-artist relationship.Despite the intrusion into her private space.
— Jalapeño (Taylor’s Version) (@jalenyappiee) July 17, 2023
Salonga recently made her Broadway comeback as a cast member and producer of the musical “Here Lies Love,” which revolves around the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and former first lady Imelda Marcos.
The singer-actress takes on the role of Aurora Aquino, mother of the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. from the show’s July 11 to Aug. 13 run. EDV