PRODUCERS of Willing Willie assured audiences of a much-improved version of the controversial television game show when it makes its return to primetime TV.
In a statement sent to The Manila Times over the weekend, TV5 said that it “will work with Mr. Willie Revillame and WilProductions Inc. in order to improve the program and ensure that it will continue to bring fun and entertainment to its many loyal viewers.”
The network added that it would use the two-week leave of Revillame’s show to conduct dialogues with various agencies and stakeholders to form new guidelines for the entire industry in terms of children’s participation in TV shows.
“TV5, with the cooperation of Mr. Willie Revillame and WilProductions Inc., has decided to stop the airing of the Willing Willie show for a period of two weeks starting April 11, 2011.
“During this period, TV5 will dialogue and work with the MTRCB, KBP, PANA and other stakeholders to come up with appropriate guidelines that will apply to all networks and the entire industry with respect to the participation or use of children in talent, game and reality shows for television. TV5 will also complete the improvement of its internal guidelines and processes to achieve the same end,” the network said.
MTRCB is the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board; KBP, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas; and PANA, the Philippine Association of National Advertisers.
TV5 also reiterated its commitment to responsible broadcasting and vowed to “continuously enhance its programs as its way of serving the public and thanking its viewers for their unceasing support, trust and patronage.”
Primetime Super Sine and Magic? Gimik! will temporarily takeover the Willing Willie timeslot beginning today.
Taking on cyberverse
He might have done no wrong in the eyes of his loyal television viewers but in the realm of social networking sites, the host found himself being ganged up on by various groups and even fellow celebrities.
Like other big stories these days, the alleged child abuse involving the “macho dancing” routine of 6-year-old Jan- Jan Suan, broke out like wildfire after Facebook groups began to surface and quickly became a trending topic on twitter.
The issue then gained more ground after civic groups and several government agencies released their statements on the matter.
The uproar eventually led to an exodus of advertisers from the show.
After Mang Inasal and Procter & Gamble pulled out their ads, other companies such as Del Monte, Cebuanna Lhuillier and Unilever followed suit.
On Friday, Revillame aired his frustrations at the end of his program, saying that he felt like the media and social networks wanted him gone from the world.
“So that you would all understand, because the criticisms against me in the newspapers, in the Internet, in twitter, are too much. It’s like they want me to die, to disappear from this world,” Revillame vented in Filipino.
He also castigated and named several celebrities who tweeted their opinions about the alleged child-abuse issue. Among them were singer Aiza Seguerra, who Willie lambasted for also working in the entertaining industry when she was a child.
“There are many artists who rode on the issue. Please think before you do that. It hurts,” Revillame said.
Other personalities whom Revillame also lashed at included Lea Salonga, Bianca Gonzales, Jim Paredes, Tuesday Vargas and Agot Isidro.
Revillame asked those celebrities what they have done or contributed to the country and rallied the studio audience, asking them if they would continue to support those celebrities.
The host threatened to file cases against his Twitter detractors.
The local celebrities whom Revillame mentioned, however, remained calm despite the accusations that they ruined his name because of their tweets.
Salonga posted a series of tweets; “Last I checked it’s actually a right of every person in this country to express an opinion, good or bad. We live in a democracy, and I’m grateful. And that is all I’m going to say,” before adding, “Nothing incendiary will be coming from me. No need for it.”
Musician Jim Paredes asked, “How can a laos [unpopular], old, over-the-hill guy like me destroy a sikat [popular], powerful, rich Superstar like Willie?”
Seguerra retweeted several demeaning remarks from Twitter users who called her “immoral,” a “nightmare,” “unggoy [monkey]” and “gahaman sa pera [greedy for money],” among other things but simply told her followers; “Sa mga sumusuporta, salamat po [to those who support me, thank you].”
The MTRCB will resume the adjudication hearings on the Willing Willie case on Tuesday with an entirely new group of board members to dismiss allegations that the former committee members had affiliations with rival network ABS-CBN.