Dustin Yu and Shayne Sava.

As we write this, ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime is going on its merry way airing on GTV, the sister network of GMA 7. The noontime show’s 12-day suspension remains non-executory despite the decision of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board to sustain its imposition made on 17 August.

Then, too, MTRCB chair Lala Sotto is holding on to her seat despite persistent cries by certain quarters for her to vacate the position because of her blood kinship with some of the hosts and producers of the competing show E. A. T., hosted and co-produced by her father (ex-senator Tito Sotto) and uncle (Vic Sotto). The main issue against the MTRCB chair is “conflict of interest.”

“I’m not going to satisfy the whims of my detractors,” declared Sotto at a press conference on Thursday, 28 September, in which she announced the MTRCB decision to sustain the pending 12-day suspension of It’s Showtime.

The ex-senator’s daughter intoned: “I truly believe my being a Sotto or my father’s daughter should not be taken against me. Instead, it should be taken positively that I am someone who grew up in the industry, I am someone who loves the industry and understands the industry.”

She firmly added: “I really believe that we should respect other’s opinions also. That’s their opinion, there’s nothing I can do.”

Despite the blocktimer and It’s Showtime competitor Eat Bulaga airing on GMA 7, some Kapuso executives visited It’s Showtime during its 28 September airing at its broadcast studio at the ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City, a stone’s throw away from the GMA 7 studios along Edsa.

Those who dropped by were Sparkle GMA Artist Center vice president Joy Marcelo; GMA senior vice president for Programming, Talent Management, Worldwide and Support Annette Gozon-Valdes; Janna Revilla; Sparkle senior talent manager Tracy Garcia; and Carmina Cruz.

They gamely joined the opening number of the Kapamilya noontime show. The hosts requested them to scream the show’s standard greeting, “What’s up, madlang pipol!” immediately followed by the specially modified, “What’s up, Madlang Kapuso!”

It was a very touching moment for the beleaguered noontime show.

MTRCB chair Lala Sotto.

Second and final appeal
Meawhile, the MTRCB chair also announced at the presscon that It’s Showtime is legally allowed to have a second and final appeal with the Office of the President about reconsidering the show’s 12-day suspension. The MTRCB is part of the Office of the President. The final appeal should be sent the Office of the President within 15 days after 28 September.

In previous statements, the younger Sotto made it clear that she had voluntarily inhibited herself from all MTRCB deliberations regarding complaints about occurrences in the noontime shows. The deliberations and decisions are done by a subcommittee and she simply approves the final decision as part of her ministerial tasks. That was how the decision to suspend It’s Showtime was reached, as well the denial of the appeal for reconsideration.

At present, there are complaints about a joke by host Joey de Leon on the 23 September episode of TV 5’s E.A.T. in which, during a game segment, he mentioned “lubid” (rope) as among the things that could be worn on the neck.

Everyone knows that a rope on the neck is a noose for ending one’s life by hanging. A number of netizens complained about the insensitivity of De Leon’s joke, knowing that a number of people in the country have mental issues to handle.

The MTRCB has announced that its adjudication committee will look into the incident and decide if the show has to be sanctioned for De Leon’s joke. The complaints are being attended to even as E.A.T has written a letter of apology to the MTRCB.

Kapuso stars have been warmly guesting in It’s Showtime. Happily, they have not been featured in segments that have been found objectionable by sensitive netizens. No GMA 7 Sparkle stars have gotten into trouble due to It’s Showtime.

They are even more likely not to get into trouble due to E.A.T. There seems to be a rule that they should not be seen there. Or even at Eat Bulaga, whose hosts once complained that GMA 7 stars seem to prefer to guest on It’s Showtime than in their show.