MANILA, Philippines - The Movie & Television Review & Classification Board (MTRCB) on Monday placed the ABS-CBN talent show "Showtime" on a 20-day preventive suspension, after an incident involving one of the show's judges.
During a live show last January 7, judge Rosanna Roces made controversial statements against the show's teachers and co-judge Vice Ganda.
In the episode, Roces encouraged students who guested on the show to ask questions from their teachers. She went on to describe teachers as "repeaters."
"Huwag kayo makukuntento sa mga itinuturo ng libro at ng teacher. Kung magtatanong kayo, hindi masama iyon. Dahil ang mga teacher, they were just repeaters. Tinuturo lang nila kung ano ang itinuro sa kanila. Hindi na nila itinuturo kung ano ang gusto malaman ng mga bata," she said.
(If you ask questions, that's not bad. Because teachers, they were just repeaters. They just teach what was taught to them. They don't teach what the children want to know.)
Her co-judge on the show, Vice Ganda, later reminded the audience that there are many teachers who are good at their profession, and that people should not generalize when they criticize the failures of educators.
Osang removed but show still suspended
On January 8, the show then announced that Roces has been removed as a judge of the show, as part of the network's self-regulation.
Despite this, the MTRCB slapped Showtime with a 20-day preventive suspension.
The network will question the need for the preventive suspension of the show, after the removal of Roces as judge.
"A preventive suspension is issued to stop further violations, if there were any committed, or for the interest or welfare of the public. Thus, the network questions the need for said preventive suspension when Rosanna Roces has already been removed from the program," a statement released by the ABS-CBN Corporate Communications department said.
"Showtime is a highly entertaining show watched by many Filipinos. It helps promote and showcase the creativity and talent of kapamilyas nationwide, uplifts their spirit and provides opportunities to improve their lives," it added.
The cast and staff of the show said they were not given any notice of the suspension.
ABS-CBN will file an appeal in court on Tuesday, while a hearing is scheduled on January 14 to let the show air their side of the story on the MTRCB decision.
Teachers commend MTRCB
Meanwhile, the Teachers' Dignity Coalition said that while they are "saddened" by the suspension of the top-rating show, they commend the swift action by the MTRCB on Roces's infraction.
"While we are saddened by the the suspension of ABS-CBN's top rating show, Showtime, and we sympathize with the production staff & hosts of said program, we commend MTRCB's swift action on derogatory & condemnable remarks made by Rosanna Roces to teachers in its segment aired last January 7," a statement from Benjo Basas, TDC chair, said.
"We urge TV personalities to be sensitive to the different sectors and to general public in their entrtainment. This is no different frm racist comments against Filipinos in shows & papers abroad," it said.
Meanwhile, a new show, entitled "Magpasikat," will temporarily replace Showtime in its noon timeslot starting Tuesday. With a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News