Tito Sotto: Watch ‘Bulaga’ episode before you judge
Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Wednesday asked the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) to watch the episode of the noontime show “Eat Bulaga” and judge if he had indeed shamed a female contestant.
The PCW slammed the show hosts for the “victim blaming and shaming” of the contestant who had been abused by a drinking buddy. It did not mention Sotto, who is one of the hosts of the long-running show.
Sotto said the commission should first watch the episode where he had made the comments before making conclusions about the incident.
“My comment was simply saying that a married woman drinking with other men at night will be ‘mapapagbintangan ng asawa’ (draw the suspicion of her husband)! So what are they saying? That I am not allowed to practice the freedom of speech? I have no right to an opinion? I was merely after the protection of the institution of marriage,” he said.
“I suggest they watch the episode. They are relying on comments of those who do not even know the context of the issue. To give your comment without watching the full episode and relying on an edited version is silly, to say the least,” he added.
It happened during the July 9 “Sugod Bahay” portion of the noontime show, where the hosts asked the contestant, a single mother of four, to share her life story and the reasons for her separation from her husband.
The commission said victim blaming and shaming “promotes a culture of misogyny that justifies and normalizes abuses against women.”
“The PCW expresses its concern over the actions of the hosts of noontime show ‘Eat Bulaga’ who hastily indicted and stereotyped a female contestant who previously went through various kinds of abuses,” it said in a statement on its website.
The commission noted that as the woman admitted to joining an occasional drinking session with friends and shared how she dressed and acted with them, “the hosts began pressing, berating, accusing her guilty, if not held her responsible for her misfortunes.”
It pointed out that one of the hosts even commented, “Ka-bababeng tao mo pa naman, pa-shot-shot ka (You’re a woman and yet you were drinking shots). ”
The comment came from Sotto, though the PCW did not name him in its statement.
Sotto had earlier said he was just protecting the institution of marriage with his remarks.
The PCW further said that the hosts “crossed the line” when they asked the contestant to re-enact how she pleaded with her husband to win him back, which made her relive her pain.
“These are clear examples of victim blaming and shaming which can be likened to fault-finding against rape and sexual harassment victims who were blamed for wearing sexy outfits, getting drunk or walking alone in dark streets,” it said.
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