So the popular reality show Pinoy Big Brother is now the centre of some kind of controversy surrounding allegations that “housemate” Jayme Jalandoni (reportedly “a devout Christian”) in a recent episode was “coerced” into posing nude along with several other contestants. Understandably, Senator Pia Cayetano ought to be upset. After all she is “a staunch women’s advocate and principal author of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710).”
Trust Philippine politicians and bureaucrats to jump on any opportunity to put up another effigy of the Philippines’ supposed moral bankruptcy to fulfill certain pre-election agendas. Senator Nancy Binay was another one of them to swoop in and save the day. “This might be a reality show but its contestants, especially it’s female housemates, should be accorded with respect without compromising their dignity and their rights as women,” says Binay. The media’s Morality Police, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) is now on the case. MTRCB Chairman Eugenio Villareal expressed his disappointment over the incident saying that “[…] the conflict with religion and the incursion into otherwise harmonious family relations can also border on insensitivity toward the Filipino values of faith and family.”
“I am dismayed that one of the challenges was for the female housemates to pose nude,” added the senator, a staunch women’s advocate and principal author of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710).
“This is an assault to the dignity of the women housemates. Asking a woman to consider posing nude in such a situation – where her acceptance to perform the challenge is made in exchange for points or benefits for herself or her housemates – is tantamount to coercion.”
She added: “In their desire to challenge and teach the contestants life lessons, they should be conscious of the rights of the housemates and know the limits when assigning tasks that could end up degrading women and trampling on their dignity. In this case, they crossed the line.”
Villareal, Cayetano, and Binay obviously harboured high expectations of PBB to have been soooo disappointed; and, stupid me, I must have missed the memo. It never occured to me that the aim of Pinoy Big Brother was to teach contestants “life lessons”. Last I heard, however, that’s not what the Big Brother franchise is all about. Television’s Big Brother is all about voyeurism with malice. Check out all the other editions worldwide and one can easily see what all that is really all about. In the average Big Brother household, housemates are essentially encouraged by Kuya himself to engage in buffoonery and debauchery. “Respect” and “dignity”? Bad for ratings, dudes. A typical Big Brother fan does not sit through a typical Big Brother episode to learn about Jesus.
So I just need to ask this really dumb question: What exactly was a “devout Christian” doing in PBB?[Photo courtesy Twitter.com.]
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