QUEZON CITY — The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), in a unanimous vote, suspended the popular noontime show of ABS-CBN spearheaded by Vice Ganda, “It’s Showtime, ” raising eyebrows among television fans.
MTRCB Chairperson Diorella Maria “Lala” Sotto-Antonio, daughter of former Senate President Vicente Sotto III, one of the mainstay hosts of rival show “E.A.T.” on TV 5, inhibited herself from voting, but certain groups want her to resign her post.
ABS-CBN, producer of “It’s Showtime,” immediately said it will appeal the decision of MTRCB.
At press time, the show was still airing and the MTRCB clarified its ruling was not yet final. The ruling prompted Vice Ganda to cancel his participation in a star-studded ABS-CBN show in Milan, Italy.
“We will submit a Motion for Reconsideration as we humbly maintain that there was no violation of pertinent law,” ABS-CBN said in a statement.
“We are also committed to working with the MTRCB to ensure that It’s Showtime can continue to bring joy and entertainment to our noontime viewers. We are truly grateful to the Madlang People for their unwavering love and support for It’s Showtime,” ABS-CBN added.
“On 29 August 2023, during its regular board meeting, the Board unanimously voted on the suspension of the said program. This decision was made with careful consideration of prior warnings and offenses associated with the show,” MTRCB said in a statement.
The MTRB said a special board meeting was held to address adjudicated cases, including the July 25, 2023 episode.
On July 31, MTRCB summoned the show’s producers to explain the alleged ‘indecent acts’ of hosts Ion Perez and real life partner, Vice Ganda, in the “Isip Bata” episode that aired on July 25, where the two hosts were seen exchanging and licking icings of cake.
Vice Ganda was seen taking some of the cake’s icing from Ion’s fingers before tasting it and greeting Ion a “happy monthsary.”
In the notice, the MTRCB said that Vice and Ion’s exchange is in violation of Section 3 (c) Presidential Decree No. 1986.
The section states the MTRCB has the power to “approve or disapprove, delete objectionable portions from and/or prohibit the importation, exportation, production, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition and/or television broadcast of the motion pictures, television programs and publicity materials.”
On September 4, the MTRCB suspended the noontime variety show for 12 airing days.
“Viewers have lodged multiple complaints before the MTRCB concerning the show’s 25 July 2023 episode wherein the program’s hosts allegedly acted in an indecent manner during one of its segments, ‘Isip Bata,'” MTRCB said.
The decision of MTRCB to suspend “It’s Showtime” received mixed reactions from the public.
The review body said the noontime show’s producers can file an appeal within 15 days after receipt of the decision. They can also raise the issue at the Office of the President within 15 days from the receipt of the MTRCB decision on the appeal.
Vice Ganda took to social media to react to the decision of the MTRCB to suspend the noontime program “It’s Showtime” for 12 airing days.
“In the middle of difficulty lies every opportunity,” shared Vice Ganda in an art card posted on Sept. 4.
Fans rallied behind Vice Ganda and the 14-year-old noontime show, Manila Bulletin’s Robert Requintina wrote. Some comments:
“We love you Showtime fam! Always here for you.”
“Fight back. Be more successful. Happier. More in love. Not just for you and Ion. But also for our community. We gotchu.”
“We love you always meme @vicegandako Maglibot kayo sa buong building ng GMA for opening prod pagbalik nyo.”
“Magbabakasyon ang mga host, ang totoong talo ay yung mga empleyadong mawawalan ng kita.”
“You and ion are loved, madam!!! everything will be all right in time.”
It was not the first time that It’s Showtime has been summoned by the MTRCB. In October 2015, the show was summoned for a meeting on “gender sensitivity concerns” following complaints about their “Pastillas Girl” segment. In August 2014, the show was also summoned by the board for Vice’s antics in the “Gandang Lalaki” portion.
In 2023 alone, the MTRCB has received multiple complaints which the Board has given due course, according to an official statement released by the MTRCB.