Vice Ganda speaks up on Jessica Soho joke

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2013 01:20 PM | Updated as of May 30 2013 12:38 AM

Vice Ganda says sorry to journalist Jessica Soho on Wednesday. Photo grab from TV

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Comedian Vice Ganda on Wednesday publicly apologized to broadcast journalist Jessica Soho on the noontime show "It's Showtime" over a sketch in his recent concert.

During his concert "I-Vice Ganda Mo 'Ko sa Araneta" last May 17, the popular comedian poked fun at Soho's weight in a sketch about celebrities as bold stars.

Vice Ganda revealed that he had a meeting with the top management of ABS-CBN and told them that he wanted to personally apologize to Soho. He said he called Soho on Wednesday morning to say sorry.
 
"Tinawagan ko po kara-karaka kanina si Miss Jessica Soho. Nag-ring ang phone, sa boses pa lang alam ko na si Miss Jessica Soho. Sabi ko, 'Good morning po, pwede ko bang makausap si Miss Jessica Soho?' At sumagot, sabi niya, 'Sino ito para saan ito?' Tapos sabi ko, 'Ako po si Vice Ganda.' Tapos sabi niya, 'Si Jessica Soho ito. Pasensiya ka na kasi hindi maganda ang timpla ko ngayong araw na ito.' Kaya sabi ko naman, 'Okay po. Is it okay po if I will call you later, tomorrow or some other day?' Sabi niya, 'I don't think so,'" he narrated.

"So sa pakiwari ko, maaring nasasaktan pa siya, nagagalit pa siya, hindi pa siya tapos doon. Hindi pa niya ako kayang patawarin kaya hindi ko nasabi ang gusto kong sabihin. At noong sinabi niyo po, Miss Jessica Soho, na you don't think na gusto niyo akong makausap maybe tomorrow, some other day or later, kaya ngayon ko na lang gagawing pampubliko ito para makarating sa inyo.

"Ako po ay humihingi ng paumanhin. Patawad po at pinapangako ko sa inyo na hindi na kayo magiging kasama kailanman sa ano mang tema ng pagtatangghal ko.

"'Yun lang ang nararamdaman ko at naiisip kong tamang gawin para makabawi ako kung nasaktan ko kayo. 'Yon lang po. Humihingi ako ng kapatawaran. Kung hindi niyo po ako mapatawad sa ngayon, sana balang araw ay mapatawad niyo ako dahil, inuulit ko, 'yun po ay isang biro lamang. Tulad po ng sinabi ko bago magsimula ang konsierto ko na ang lahat po ay biro lang," he said.

Ganda also clarified the sketch which some netizens refer to as a "rape" joke.

"Tungkol sa isyu ng rape, na ginawa ko daw katatawanan ang rape.  Lahat po nang nakapanood ng gabing 'yon ay umuwi ng bahay nila na walang naalalang rape. Pero hindi ko na ija-justify kung ano ang ginawa kong tama o mali. Gusto ko lang klaruhin sa lahat na hindi ko po kailanman gugustuhing kukutyain ang rape victims. Wala akong intention na masama, na pagtawanan ang rape victims," he said.

"Gayun pa man, kung mayroon pong nasaktan, humihingi po ako ng paumanhin at sa lahat ng nakisali sa maliit na isyung ito na pinalaki ng pinalaki na naging national isyu na nagsimula sa isang biro. Kung hindi niyo nagustuhan ang biro ko, paumanhin sa inyo," he said.

"Ako po ay tao, mukha lang akong kabayo. Hindi ako perpektong komedyante at alam ko sa sarili ko na hindi lahat ng joke ko ay nakakatawa. Mayroong isang tao na magsasabing hindi ako natawa, depende 'yan kung paano mo tatanggapin. Gayun pa man, mula sa puso ko, humihingi ako ng paumanhin.

"Sana tapusin na natin ang isyu na ito at pinapanalangin ko na mapatawad ako. Sa lahat ng mga nagsalita sa akin ng masama, lalo na 'yung hindi nakapanood at nakaparinig lang, okay lang. Kung hindi niyo ako naunawaan, ako ang uunawa sa inyo," he added.

Soho issues statement

Meanwhile, Soho issued a statement on the comedian's public apology, which was published on the GMA7 website.

"I acknowledge the public apology given by Vice Ganda, by way of his TV program, I sincerely hope and pray that this was done with the purest intentions and determination to put this issue behind us," the statement read as quoted by the website.

Soho also clarified her phone conversation with the comedian, saying the call "came without warning as his number was not programmed in my phone directory. I told him I wasn't feeling well and I wasn't sure I was ready to talk to him. But I clearly remember thanking him for his call."

"As I've said, this is not about me, but about the issue of rape not being an appropriate subject matter for comedy. Rape transcends age, economic class, gender -- and even one's weight," she added, as quoted by the website. "Once again, I thank everyone who gave their support."