Joey De Leon Draws Backlash Following Controversial Joke on E.A.T
Sep 25, 2023   •   Edgardo Toledo
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Sep 25, 2023   •   Edgardo Toledo
When it comes to humor, there are some lines you shouldn’t cross — especially when joking about sensitive situations. That’s why TV host and comedian Joey de Leon found himself in hot water after making a tone-deaf joke. Here’s what happened:
Trigger Warning: The article contains mentions of suicide.
The world is a better place if only Joey de Leon knows how to keep his mouth shut.
— ALTKapamilyaChannel (@AltKapamilyaCH) September 23, 2023
In the “Gimme 5” segment of TV5’s noontime show E.A.T., a contestant was asked to name five things that can be worn on the neck. Although he only mustered to name one item, E.A.T host Joey de Leon was quick to share his answer. And let’s say it was a case of wit gone bonkers.
“Lubid, lubid. Nakakalimutan n’yo,” the 76-year-old comedian said.
People wasted no time calling out De Leon, as his statement seemed to imply self-inflicted harm.
Let’s face it — we live in a country where the most common advice you’ll get for dealing with mental health issues is to either pray it away or keep a positive mindset. Does that mean De Leon gets a pass? Not at all, netizens say.
“Panahon na siguro mag retire si Joey De Leon. Hindi ka na nababagay sa generation na ito,” one netizen wrote.
Panahon na siguro mag retire si Joey De Leon. Hindi ka na nababagay sa generation na ito.
— • Mugen 🐱 (@tr1pnaut1k) September 23, 2023
Some have argued that Joey’s joke might be potentially triggering to those people who are currently dealing with mental health challenges.
the way he said it parang joke lang. inulit ulit pa. what if mapanood to ng someone na may mabigat na pinagdadaanan at yun ang magtrigger. ano masasabi ng spiritual convivtion mo dto lala sotto?
— RTM (@roadtomillion12) September 23, 2023
Netizens also took issue that the controversial remark was followed by a quirky laugh track.
They even added that haha effects as if nakakatawa na isa sa sagot ung lubid. Recently, a friend of mine died because of that “lubid” tapos pagtatawanan nyo lang mga gagong insensitive kayo?
— 소피아 🇵🇭 (@jichuwii__) September 24, 2023
“They even added that ‘haha’ effects as if nakakatawa na isa sa sagot ‘yung lubid.”
This wasn’t De Leon’s first time making controversial jokes about mental health. In 2017, he called depression a made-up illness on national TV, saying, “Yung depression gawa-gawa lang ng mga tao ‘yan. Gawa nila sa sarili nila.” After online backlash, De Leon issued an apology.
Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chair Diorella Maria “Lala” Sotto-Antonio faced criticism from netizens as well. Netizens asked her to show fairness by penalizing E.A.T and De Leon for his controversial statement.
To Lala Sotto,
It’s about time to prove to everyone that you’re fair with everybody. Cancel Joey De Leon and suspend their show for his inapproriate “joke” about lubid in relation to suicide.
Joey De Leon thinks that suicide & depression are just “gawa gawa” lang, well 🖕🏻❌🖕🏻
— Yvette 🍦 (@vettyplayspiano) September 24, 2023
Recently, Sotto drew flak after suspending It’s Showtime due to a series of violations, most notably an interaction between real-life couple Ion Perez and Vice Ganda, who appeared on the noontime show licking cake frosting from their fingers.
If a child were to watch a couple eating icing using their fingers, I'm sure he/she would enjoy doing it too. Pero kung marinig nila na ang “lubid” ay isa sa mga bagay na sinasabit sa leeg, what do you think would happen if the child tried it, Lala Sotto?pic.twitter.com/lKst8W60Bf
— _bryt (@bryllish) September 24, 2023
“Pero kung marinig nila na ang “lubid” ay isa sa mga bagay na sinasabit sa leeg, what do you think would happen if the child tried it, Lala Sotto?” one post reads.
People also asked the MTRCB to remember the media guidelines on sensitive topics like suicide.
Hi @MTRCBgov! Reminding you of the media guidelines on suicide reporting that your office has released/signed up to. Hope you can do something about this show that might be triggering for some viewers. https://t.co/pRtnYco8HC
— RJ Naguit 🌹 (@docrjnaguit) September 24, 2023
As of writing, neither the MTRCB, Joey de Leon, nor E.A.T. has released any statement.
If you or someone you know requires assistance with mental health concerns, the Department of Health operates national crisis hotlines accessible through landline at 1553, as well as via mobile at 0917-899-8727 and 0966-351-4518 (Globe), and 0908-639-2672 (Smart/Sun/TNT).
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