Singer and Army reservist Ronnie Liang has accused the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) of ‘selective justice,’ ‘conflict of interest’ with its decision to suspend “It’s Showtime” for 12 airing days.
On Twitter, the “Ngiti” singer voiced out his objections to the MTRCB’s ruling, saying there were similar or worse situations done in other shows but which the regulatory body did not address “with the same urgency or attention.”
“This inconsistency raises questions about their decision-making. Parang selective justice. Sorry po, pero ganun ang impression,” he said.
Liang said MTRCB chairperson Diorella “Lala” Sotto-Antonio‘s ties to “EAT” — a rival show of “It’s Showtime” where her father, former Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is one of the hosts — have raised concerns on the board’s impartiality and fairness.
“Even though Chair Sotto claimed to have abstained from the suspension order, her presence as the head of the MTRCB and her close family connections to the showbiz industry cast doubt. It’s like having a referee in a basketball game who’s best friends with one of the players – it just doesn’t feel right. People expect regulatory bodies to be impartial. Kapag may koneksyon ka sa industriya na nireregulate mo at kapamilya mo mismo, mahirap para sa iba na tingnan ka na neutral,” he said.
Here’s my honest opinion about the MTRCB issue with Showtime.
The MTRCB, as the regulatory body, should give clear and consistent guidelines or parameters for acceptable content. In this case, they quickly suspended Showtime because Vice Ganda was seen licking icing off his…
— Ronnie Liang (@ronnieliang) September 12, 2023
The singer-soldier further said the reputation of the MTRCB would be at stake if concerns about perceived conflicts of interests are not addressed.
“If conflicts of interest persist and the public sees the MTRCB as being affected by personal relationships, it could tarnish the board’s reputation and credibility. They must be perceived as fair and trustworthy. I have no personal issues with Chair Sotto, but someone else should lead the MTRCB. Clarity, consistency, and avoiding conflicts of interest will help maintain the MTRCB’s reputation and prevent public backlash,” he claimed.
The MTRCB’s ruling stemmed from the July 25 episode episode of “It’s Showtime” in which host Vice Ganda licked icing off the finger of his co-host and real-life partner Ion Perez, an act that some claimed to be an “emulation of a sexual activity.”
Though the ruling of the review body is not yet final, it has spawned a criminal complaint filed by a group of so-called social media broadcasters who sought to have the assailed episode be taken down from the interest owing to its supposed adverse effect on children and the general public.
Sotto said that she had abstained from participating in the board’s decision to suspend “It’s Showtime.” She also denied influencing the filing of the cybercrime charge against Vice Ganda and Perez last September 11. EDV