Actor Xian Lim. File photo
MANILA - The director of "Banana Nite" said he shares the blame for the supposedly "offensive" behavior of actor Xian Lim towards a look-alike of actress Kim Chiu during the gag show's Chinese New Year countdown.
Speaking with ABS-CBN entertainment news site Push on Thursday, director Bobot Mortiz said that Lim shouldn't be the only blamed for the incident, adding that it was his idea to surprise the actor during his number.
“Ang totoo niyan, may kasalanan din kami. Hindi kasalanan ni Xian ‘yung nangyari, kasi dahil biglaan talaga ‘yung show na ‘yun," Mortiz said. "Ako ‘yung nakaisip ‘yun na go-good time-in si Xian."
Mortiz said the show failed to properly brief former "Kalokalike" contestant Charmae Viking, Chiu's impersonator, on what she needed to do on-stage with Lim during the live performance.
“Kung naturuan namin ‘yung lookalike na kunwari biniro niya si Xian, siguro kung ginanon niya nilapitan niya si Xian, lalaruin na siya ni Xian, hindi eh. Nakatayo lang siya don so kung ako man ‘yun di ba kung ganon, ‘Anong ginagawa nito? Anong gagawin ko?" he said.
Lim drew flak on social media for supposedly ignoring Viking and repeatedly referring to her as actress Bea Binene.
Mortiz urged netizens to stop the criticisms, noting that the actor has already aired his regret on Twitter and has personally contacted Viking to apologize.
"Nag-apologize naman siya, ang mga tao naman nagkakamali. Hiningi niya ang number ng lookalike ni ano, I’m sure tumawag siya para mag-sorry tsaka sa Twitter niya, so alam mo pag nagso-sorry ka sign of humility na ‘yun so dapat tanggapin natin, bihira ang taong nagso-sorry di ba?” he said.
In a separate interview, Chiu related that Lim was deeply saddened by the incident, describing him as inconsolable.
"Sobra siyang malungkot, hindi mo siya makausap. As in hindi siya kumakain, hindi siya nagpapagupit ng hair, ayaw niya," she said.