(The famous Tito,Vic, and Joey)
Joey de Leon, TV host, actor, comedian had been criticized by the National Press Club and the Alyansa ng mga Filipinong Mamahayag for cracking a joke about a grandmother killing press people. The press people, sensitive on the issue of journalists killings, tagged his joke as insensitive and irresponsible. Similarly they asked him to apologize to the press people he insulted.
Last Saturday, in a celebrity tallk show he is also co-hosting, he apologized to the press people for his joke but explained that he did not mean to offend press people. He said that it’s the least a grandmother could do, who has been so respected in the Philippine society, is to kill a journalist.
It all started when hosts Joey de Leon, Vic Sotto, and Jimmy Santos were bragging about the health of their grandmothers, in the “joke mo segment” of a noontime show “Eat Bulaga.”
Here, Joey de Leon delivered his punch line, “Wala iyan sa lola ko. Ang Lola ko pumapatay ng press people” (That’s nothing, my grandma kills press people).
Watch you Language
Benny Antiporda, NPC president cautioned Joey de Leon to watch his language and be sensitive to the general state of the Philippine media.
“Journalist killings are never a laughing matter. There is no joke in it. We respect him as a good comedian. His job to entertain has limits, however. And bragging about an old lady who could kill journalists is way beyond his turf. He stepped over and he should apologize not only to the families of journalists who died but to those who lived to see him make his jokes. He should apologize to the thousands of journalists he insulted,” Antiporda said.
The NPC president said that instead of making fun of the matter, Joey de Leon should set an example of sympathy and not apathy.
Close to 100 journalists had been killed since democracy was reinstated in 1986 and most of these killings remained unsolved, according to Antiporda.
“We do not believe Mr. De Leon was ignorant of the issue. Up to now, the NPC, Afima and other media organizations are trying to move heaven and earth to find ways to end the violence posed against us. And here comes this comedian who thought killing journalists was something to brag about,” he explained.
This is no longer funny
Antiporda did not find Joey de Leon’s joke funny: “It was insulting and revolting to conscience.”
Earlier, both the NPC and AFIMA were considering possible actions that may be taken against the comedian..
“No one should be allowed to toy with the issue of journalist killings, much less play jokes about it. We might file a formal protest before the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). Unless he apologizes to those he insulted, we would ask the MTRCB to at least suspend him or the program,” AFIMA president Jerry Yap stressed.
On his part, Joey de Leon had already apologized for his joke before a national television network GMA7 in a celebrity talk show he is co-hosting with Lolit Solis.