'E.A.T.' apologizes for Joey de Leon’s remark alluding to suicide – MTRCB

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28) — The noontime show "E.A.T." has apologized for a controversial remark made by one of its hosts, Joey de Leon, which insinuated suicide, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) said on Wednesday.

“The E.A.T. production voluntarily appeared before the MTRCB [on Monday, Sept. 25] with an apology letter to enter into a dialogue with Atty. [Paul] Cases, the chairman of the adjudication committee,” MTRCB Chairperson Lala Sotto told a Senate budget hearing.

Cases said the MTRCB has considered complaints received on social media and will discuss the matter after its legal affairs division brings the issue to the adjudication committee.

Asked by Senator Jinggoy Estrada if De Leon committed any violation, Cases said the MTRCB is not in the position to confirm as yet.

The agency said it will determine if De Leon’s remark violated Presidential Decree 1986.

On Sept. 23, a contestant in the “Gimme 5” segment of E.A.T. was asked to list five items that may be worn around the neck. When the contestant failed to answer, De Leon joked, "Lubid, lubid, nakakalimutan niyo, lubid [Rope, you forgot about the rope]," then shrugged nonchalantly.

Netizens and mental health advocates said the comment takes the issue of suicide and self-harm lightly and asked Sotto to summon De Leon and sanction the show. The MTRCB chief's father - Tito Sotto - and uncle Vic Sotto also host the program.

If you are in need of mental health support, please call the 24/7 National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline at (0917) 899-8727, (0908) 639-2672, (0966) 351-4518, or (02) 7-989-8727 or 1553 (landline-to-landline only).