so i’ve just been called a pedophile on facebook because i protested against a poster of a goodlooking teenage boy in the briefest of white briefs in macho-dance pose. says the poster:
WILLIE’S SUMMER DANCE STUDIO PRESENTS
MACHO DANCING FOR BOYS!
Learn to shake hips
& pick up customers
Parents can make up
to $1K a week
And it’s free!
A Corporate Social Responsibility Project of:
PROCTOR @ GAMBLE, JOLLIBEE, UNILEVER, PEPSODENT, VASELINE, OISHI, CDO, SURF DETERGENT, TECHNOMARINE, CAMELLA’S HOMES, LHUILLER AND OTHER OUTSTANDING COMPANIES WHO SPONSOR WILLIE’S DANCING CONTESTS FOR BOYS!
HURRY! CLASSES LIMITED! CALL MANNY PANGILINAN AT CHANNEL 5 TODAY. GUARANTEED CUSTOMERS FOR YOUR BOY AFTER CLASSES!
quite offended i commented that the poster was too too much! totally unfair to willie and his sponsors! that the 6 year old was the one who wanted to go on tv to show off his dance routine. he had done it many times before elsewhere, even in school, and was rewarded and lauded for it. that willie was just as surprised as everyone. and that we’re imposing our sensibilities on the masa, sensibilities that they don’t share. whats indecent to us may not be indecent to them. that there’s clearly a class divide here.
and that’s when one of the commenters said i must be a pedophile, or a media executive, which at the moment daw are the same thing. i’d cut and paste that comment except that it was deleted by the commenter soon after i replied: oh wow, this is not an intelligent conversation. signing off… the downside of social media: having to deal with the whole spectrum, from the stupid, sometimes irrational, many times unthinking, to the intelligent and creative and occasionally sublime comments that any blog, tweet, or fb status is open to, especially when one is in a major major disagreement with a lynch mob, such as the kick-out-willie movement.
of course because it’s been sensationalized to the max, mainstream media are taking up what social media started. the inquirer has it on the front page: Willie treatment of dancing boy ‘criminal’ says the broadsheet. Revillame treatment of dancing boy in tears criminal–CHR says the online version.
MANILA, Philippines—What the show “Willing Willie” did to Jan-Jan Suan, the 6-year-old boy who was told to simulate a striptease while in tears in exchange for cash in front of a cheering studio audience, was criminal, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Tuesday.
The CHR said it would investigate the episode as it appeared to have violated a law protecting children.
“The commission will investigate this incident in order to identify the person/s liable and to recommend proper legal actions against them,” it said in a statement.
what’s scandalizing to me is the CHR’s, or is it the inquirer‘s? summary of the situation: “the 6-year-old boy who was told to simulate a striptease while in tears in exchange for cash in front of a cheering studio audience…”
this makes it seem like willie told the boy, o sumayaw ka ng “striptease”, bibigyan kita ng pera. when in fact it’s not the way it happened at all. anyone who watches willing willie would know that the kid would have been given money, kahit ano pang isinayaw niya, lalo na with tears effect, which was not because he was feeling “humiliated.” anyone who has taken the time to check out the story and really watch the youtube video en toto, and then watched the interviews of the boy and his parents in the following days, would know that it was the production staff’s responsibility, and that they had toned it down na nga, pinalitan nila yung music na dala ng bata, which was hayden kho’s “careless whisper”.
also, it was nothing close to a striptease. there was no shedding of clothing or suggestion thereof. does the CHR, or the inquirer, even know what macho dancing is like? it’s no different from what little girls dancing like sex bomb dancers do.
karen cardenas reflects: …on The Dance and what we impose on it. He was fully dressed, he was making movements, he wasn’t provocative. What is the difference from ocho-ocho or for heaven’s sake, the grind or tahitian or dirty dancing or lambada? Kasi pang “macho dancer”? Bakit niyo minamaliit ang macho dancer? —facebook 29 march
of course the next question posed is: why didn’t willie stop it right away, after he had seen the macho-dancer routine. why did he let it go on and on? it was so inappropriate, so offensive, and what about the little boy, kawawa naman, umiiyak na nga, yada yada yada
willie tried to explain, everyone was having a good time, the father, the aunt, even the boy, who gamely danced everytime he heard his music instead of running away when he had 10k na in his pocket — i mean you know, if he was aware enough to feel oppressed by what he was doing, he would have been smart enough to get off that stage the moment he got the money, okay na, panalo na, but he didn’t.
everyone was having a good time. the first time i saw it, natawa rin ako. natawa ako sa bata, natawa ako kay willie, natawa ako sa audience. of course i knew by then that there was an uproar over it in social media, so i was also thinking omg yes it’s the sort of thing na pagdidiskitahan ng opus deis and couples for christ and their ilk. still i could relate to the laughter, what fun to break out of the norm, do something different, even, defy a sexual taboo, mwahaha! and susmayorsep alam kaya ng batang ito kung sinong sumasayaw ng ganyan? mwahahaha! sana hindi! mwahahaha!
read karen’s Willie, Humiliation
… when Willie makes jokes, is it to humiliate the contestants, to make them feel lowly, inferior, or is there a collective humility in all of them, an unspoken awareness that it’s open season. Laugh at me, make fun of me, because it’s just one big hilarious joke, everything we are doing here. It’s one big show, and it isn’t real.
Willie, from what i have heard, came from the same situation as his contestants. He was, as far as the stories go, also struggling in life before he became rich and famous. My guess is he, like his guests, understands self-deprecation, he knows what it is like to laugh at himself, at his situation.
Feeling humiliated may not be something they concern themselves with because their lives are hard enough, and if they can have a little fun in an arena meant for them, why not? Don’t Pinoys love to laugh, even at themselves?
and if we go even deeper, and attribute more intelligence to the masa, the poor, the lower class, i daresay the exploitation wasn’t one-way. sure, the capitalists exploit the masa with this sort of show, but it is just as possible that the boy’s family had read into the system of the gameshow and thought: this is the way to go, we do something different, we do something a little naughty, we make more money. depende sa perspective. which is only to say that there are no absolutes here, and willie does not deserve the wholesale villification and opprobrium.
it is so clear now how hated willie, hero of the masses, is by the know-it-all self-righteous self-proclaimed pundits of social media, led it would seem by fellow celebrities in the showbiz industry who just can’t stand being upstaged by a willie revillame na hindi naman guapo, walang ka-class-class, pero tumatabo on primetime tv and in opm CDs, laban kayo?
because hey, the masses love him, he’s one of them, just a little smarter and luckier, and i’m sure they love that he is medyo bastos, which is, wittingly or un-, an up-yours to the moralist establishment that is at the root of their poverty.
and speaking of bastos, sino ba talagang bastos. di ba mas bastos yung nag-upload ng video of the little boy sa youtube? di ba mas bastos ang nag-upload ng poster sa facebook, na natanggap ko rin sa email, for the sake of the little boy daw? what kind of caring is that?
like katrina says of the offensive poster:
sinong bastos ngayon?
no really, lalabanan ninyo si Willie Revillame by doing this?
how crass. how un-intelligent. how irresponsible can you get.