By Gabby Baylon
*Continued from ‘Is PBB still relevant now? (Part 1 of 2)
On current housemates being ‘too good-looking.’ Singling out some of the current season’s housemates (which included some from showbiz like Jane Oineza, Alex Gonzaga and Kapamilya host Phoemela Baranda’s “secret” daughter, Nichole Baranda), some netizens protested the ‘type’ of contenders showed how PBB was only for the ‘famous.’ To this, Direk Lauren said:
“The truth is that it’s easier to watch people on TV who look good or are very funny in real life and not a put on… or are very charismatic. Kim Chiu started that way. I think Maris and Joshua are raw but has the charms.”
In his string of tweets following the show’s launch, Direk Lauren also let in that “a lot of housemates are chosen with the potential of attracting a strong following both positive and negative.”
On the show’s twists and gimmicks. “We consciously make an effort na maiba itong season na ito sa nauna.” Dyogi once told PEP in an interview. “Even Endemol is constantly telling us, every season should be independent. Every season should feel different… It will get boring ‘pag same din.”
On nude painting task controversy
PBB All-In was all over the headlines both on TV and the internet when it irked some people with its “nude painting task.” In PBB’s June 4 episode, Kuya challenged housemate Jayme Jalandoni to pose nude for a painting-for-charity. Initially reluctant, the 23-year-old devout Christian was told that there was so much at stake: their weekly budget and “the artist’s advocacy,” and was “given time to think” about her decision.
Among the first to react on the issue was the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), who called the attention of the Movie Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) to review the episode in question. While PCW saw nothing wrong with women posing nude for art as long as it constitutes free choice, they felt that Jalandoni’s initial hesitation was enough of a refusal. Because of this, they say that “Kuya violated her right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief.”
“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,” Senator Pia Cayetano said in a statement.
While the task did not push through after Jalandoni and the other housemates she chose to join her refused, the show was still urged to issue a public apology.
On June 11, PBB All-In did release a statement on ABS-CBN’s primetime news program TV Patrol, as well as on the show. It read:
“While the objective of the week-long task was to see how the housemates would react to a test of their convictions and value, and was not intended to disrespect the rights of any housemate, the producers wish to convey their sincerest apologies to those who were offended, and assure the public and the MTRCB that the program will continue to ensure the protection of women’s rights in general and housemates’s rights in particular, while providing quality and yet gender and audience-sensitive entertainment to its audiences worldwide.”
Prior to this, hosts Toni Gonzaga and Bianca Gonzalez came to the show’s defense. Gonzalez believed that the issue was blown out of proportions, explaining how “a lot of people did not know that it was a question,” as opposed to Kuya coercing Jalandoni, which is “the one that’s bad.” Gonzaga, on the other hand, argued that Kuya knew his limitations and that the task was done under the supervision of Endemol.
“We don’t claim to be inspirational or whatever.” “Big Brother kasi, ang viewership niya is from A to E. I realized na intelehente talaga ang viewers at meron kaming viewers na iba ‘yong hinahanap sa programa namin,” Direk Lauren emphasized in an interview with PEP.
“Syempre, doon kami sa nakakarami. It’s still an entertainment program. It’s still a commercial show. We don’t claim to be inspirational or whatever. Big Brother was never like that even in other countries.”
“But kami, we inject as much as we can, something positive. Like we do charity works also. We make sure that our housemates are able to connect with people outside and be able to reach out and help. Kasabay noon, meron din kaming ginagawa tha others may find ridiculous and insulting. Pero to a different set of viewers, naaaliw naman sila.”
“We will not be able to please everyone. Actually even ‘yong ibang taong nanlalait, I think, nanonood din sila. And I realized, ‘di pwedeng wala kang kainisan doon sa programa.”
“Dito ‘yong klase ng programa na kailangan ‘pag nanood, mayroong kainisan. Kasi kung hindi, it’s not as effective. And we’ve also proven… na you cannot have a group of people who are of the same mood, na mababait sila, and they’re all nice. Kasi hindi siya magiging mas interesting.”
The answer to the big question
In any subject worth pondering on, there will always be two sides to a story. Amid the controversy, the gimmicks and slice of life stories, it cannot be denied that the show does transform lives – whether for the good or the bad, one can only speculate.
On the surface, PBB may seem to present a hodge-podge of personalities and tasks all designed to captivate the audience, but where PBB’s elements come into play, there lies its massive power: its promise of a glimpse into relationship dynamics, its ability to make housemates (and in extension, the viewers) realize things they never knew about themselves and to inspire them into fearlessly showing the world what they are made of.
My two-cents worth: if you are a TV junkie, take away what you can from the show, throw away the rest and be careful of getting too carried away to the point of having less to no time on improving your own life. Now as to whether we need another season after the current one – that is an entirely different story.
*Photos courtesy of Facebook.