Showbiz Roundup: Lala Sotto-resign call, ‘It’s Showtime’ suspension, Billy Crawford
The month of September kicked off with an explosive note as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) suspended “It’s Showtime” for 12 airing days, which led to calls for the resignation of Lala Sotto-Antonio, chairman of the government review body.
In other news, Billy Crawford admitted that his relationship with the Kapamilya noontime show hosts are “not the same” as before.
Meanwhile, Sharon Cuneta made a cryptic post about love “not happening twice” after her daughter KC Concepcion confirmed that she unfollowed her stepfather Kiko Pangilinan and stepsister Kakie Pangilinan on Instagram.
On the other hand, Heart Evangelista clarified that she was absent in Lovi Poe’s wedding to Monty Blencowe as her father is in the hospital.
Look back at how “Ber” months started in the entertainment industry through INQUIRER.net’s showbiz roundup from Sept. 1 to 7.
‘Lack of wisdom’
The Department of Broadcast Communication of the University of the Philippines is calling for the resignation of MTRCB chairperson Diorella “Lala” Sotto-Antonio amid the agency’s sanctions on “It’s Showtime.”
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the UP department said it is dismayed by Sotto’s action of undermining her position and objectivity as a public official when her agency meted a 12-airing day suspension on “It’s Showtime” — a decision that, it said, “lacked wisdom and discernment.”
“We also call for the resignation of MTRCB Chair Diorella Maria ‘Lala’ Sotto, whose pronouncements on national TV evidently compromised her position and objectivity as a public official,” it further stated.
The UP Department of Broadcast Communications is under the state university’s interdisciplinary College of Mass Communication that caters to the study of the broadcast industry and broadcast production.
At the center of the controversy were the alleged “indecent acts” committed on air by “It’s Showtime” hosts Vice Ganda and his co-host and real-life partner Ion Perez.
The group also pointed out the MTRCB under Sotto’s “consistent failure to be responsive to the times, as reflected by its unnecessary interventions on TV programs, and, in general, its pointlessness in today’s media environment.” It further called for the abolition of MTRCB, saying it has become “regressive,” with the board illustrating its “proclivity for censorship and high-handedness.”
In many instances, the UP department said, the MTRCB has regarded itself as an arbiter of media morality rather than an advocate for its motto on being an “intelligent and responsible viewer.”
INQUIRER.net sought the reaction of the MTRCB, but it said that it will not issue any comment at this time.
The MTRCB clarified in a statement that Sotto inhibited herself from voting for “It’s Showtime’s” suspension last Sept. 4. She further clarified in an interview on “24-Oras” on GMA that her decision to recuse herself from voting was to allow the board members to “exercise their independent judgment.”
Sotto is the daughter of former Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who hosts “EAT,” a competing noontime show.
ABS-CBN said on Tuesday that it will file a motion for reconsideration as it alleged that there was no violated law, but a verdict remains pending, as of this writing.
12-day suspension for ‘It’s Showtime’
“It’s Showtime” was slapped with a 12-airing day suspension by the MTRCB after receiving “multiple complaints over the alleged “indecent acts” of hosts Vice Ganda and Ion Perez, while noting “additional warnings” on use of “inappropriate language” in previous episodes.
The noontime show’s suspension was confirmed in an official statement last Sept. 4, months after the show’s producers were summoned by the government agency.
Following the suspension, MTRCB noted that producers of “It’s Showtime” can “file one Motion for Reconsideration within 15 days after receipt of the decision.” But if the government agency wouldn’t grant reconsideration, they could “appeal to the Office of the President within 15 days from the receipt of the decision on the MR.”
In ruling for “It’s Showtime’s” suspension, MTRCB pointed out that this is not the first time the show received a “preventive suspension,” as it received “multiple complaints,” but was granted due course.
“Most recently, the Board issued two additional warnings to the noontime show concerning the following cases: Case no. 1: Inappropriate utterance of the word “G Spot” by hosts Jhong Hilario and Vice Ganda, during the 24 January 2023 episode of “It’s Showtime!” in violation of Section 2 (B), Chapter IV of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1986,” MTRCB said.
‘Not like it used to be’
Billy Crawford admitted that his friendship with his former co-hosts in “It’s Showtime” has changed as he “hardly have the time to communicate” with them.
Crawford was asked about his friendship with the noontime show hosts during an interview for “Fast Talk with Boy Abunda” last Sept. 4. Crawford’s wife, actress Coleen Garcia, was also present in the talk show.
“I play basketball with Vhong (Navarro). I went to his house, visited him,” Crawford answered.
“We (Garcia and him) hardly actually have time to communicate with every single person we know. It’s hard enough with our own family,” he disclosed. “So, the relationship has changed; to be honest, it’s not like it used to be.”
Crawford then noted that “everything completely changed” when he and Garcia, who is also a former “It’s Showtime” host, started a family.
Abunda further asked the couple, “Do you wish it can be better?
Garcia then clarified, “When they’re there, nando’n naman eh. It’s like we know so many people and we don’t even keep up with our friends that we’ve known for so long.”
Crawford, for his part, commended the idea of bettering relationships and said, “I think all relationships naman can be better through communication and understandings, somehow—kasi a lot has changed in three years. Sobrang daming pagbabago.”
Crawford and Garcia started dating in 2014 when they were still part of “It’s Showtime.” Garcia left the noontime show in 2016, then Crawford followed suit in 2018.
Sharon Cuneta’s cryptic post
Sharon Cuneta made a cryptic post addressed to “one of her children,” just a day after her first daughter KC Concepcion explained why she unfollowed on Instagram her stepfather, former senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and stepsister, Frankie.
On Instagram on Wednesday, August 30, Cuneta posted a screenshot of a famous line from the book “Tiger Lily” by Jodi Lynn Anderson, and which she captioned “From Peter Pan… For one of my four children.”
“Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn’t happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn’t seem broken at all,” her post read, although it can be noted that the quote came from the book “Tiger Lily” by children’s writer Jodi Lynn Anderson.
In a separate post, she shared another quote, this time from “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie, which she captioned thus: “Never, ever let go of that child in you… I have never.”
“‘Why can’t you fly now, mother?’ ‘Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way.’ ‘Why do they forget the way?’ ‘Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly,’” her picture post read.
Concepcion is Cuneta’s daughter with former husband Gabby Concepcion.
Frankie, or Kakie, is Cuneta’s first daughter with Pangilinan. Between them, they also have two other children — Miel, and Miguel.
The veteran actress’ posts came a day after Concepcion said in an interview with showbiz columnist Cristy Fermin that their blended family is “complicated” when she was asked why she unfollowed her stepfather and stepsister on Instagram.
Heart Evangelista’s ‘absence’ in Lovi’s wedding
Heart Evangelista disclosed that her dad Reynaldo Ongpauco has been hospitalized, which was the reason why she was not able to attend the wedding of her friend and fellow actress Lovi Poe in England.
Evangelista said this after some netizens pointed out her absence from Poe’s wedding and speculated that there was an apparent misunderstanding between the actresses.
“My dad is in the hospital,” the actress-fashion personality wrote in the comments section of a TikTok video which had the caption “Lovie at Heart, hindi [na BFF].”
In the video, a woman in voice-over stressed that fans were expecting Evangelista’s presence at Poe’s wedding since the “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo” star was one of the fashion personality’s bridesmaids in her 2015 nuptials.
While Evangelista opted not to disclose further details about Ongpauco’s condition, fans sent their prayers and well-wishes for his recovery.
Poe tied the knot with British film producer Monty Blencowe last Aug. 26. Fellow celebrities present at the event were Rhian Ramos, Max Collins, Vicki Belo, Hayden Kho and Tim Yap, among others. EDV