Stop portraying solons as crooks in films, TV—Rep. Gonzales
Dismayed by shows portraying members of Congress as fat, foul-mouthed politicians clad in ill-fitting clothes, Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. has filed a resolution appealing to film and TV producers to “stop typecasting congressmen and congresswomen as villains or crooks in movies and telenovelas.”
Gonzales proposed House Resolution No. 2140 urging producers “not to create stereotypes or negative public perception against members of the House of Representatives.”
Gonzales, a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition who left the minority bloc to join the majority group, said congressmen could only make an appeal because “this issue is covered by the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and of expression.”
He argued that while there might have been a few lawmakers linked to criminal activities, “these are the exceptions rather than the rule.”
“These portrayals are unfair and, at the very least, sully the good name of honorable congressmen and congresswomen who work hard for the welfare of their constituents,” Gonzales said in the resolution.
“This negative typecasting influences the general public, especially the young children, into forming a negative impression about the members of the House of Representatives.”
Some members of the House quickly shot down Gonzales’ proposal.
Ako Bikol Representative Rodel Batocabe on Monday said that telling the people in the entertainment industry how to run their business would not sit well with the show biz sector, which takes pride in their artistic integrity.
It would also violate the Constitution as it would constitute prior restraint, Batocabe added.
Akbayan Representative Walden Bello said, “I am not in favor of that because it is a fundamental violation of artistic freedom. Besides, there are representatives who are crooks and are foolish.”
Navotas City Representative Tobias Tiangco said lawmakers should not be onion-skinned as to be affected by such trifle matters.
“No matter how they portray you, whether you are the President or a driver, you should not be affected as long as your conscience is clear,” Tiangco said.
“The voters should know their congressman better. I can’t see why we should dictate how we lawmakers are portrayed in the movies or TV,” he added.
Representative Teodoro Haresco of Ang Kasangga said that while he supported Gonzales’ appeal, he doubted whether movie and TV producers would be accommodating.
“Typecasting promotes prejudices that lead to division. We have doctors, teachers, social workers, engineers, economists and businessmen in Congress. But I don’t think it would be easy to stop this negative portrayal because some Filipinos are known for their crab mentality,” Haresco said.
Originally posted: 9:43 pm | Monday, February 20th, 2012
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