Social media was abuzz yesterday evening when actress Liza Soberano spoke up about a controversial poster of an upcoming movie. The actress took the opportunity to bring to light the current stigma around mental health in the Philippines and how mainstream media contributes to confusing uninformed masses. Why exactly are Liza and netizens dismayed about the official poster of Viva Films’ Tililing?
“It’s a no for me.”
Really hoping that this movie will spread awareness and enlighten us on the struggles of dealing with mental health. But the poster? It’s a no for me. Mental health is NOT a joke. Stop the stigma. pic.twitter.com/EHndPS2khs
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) February 8, 2021
Liza Soberano has proven time and time again that she is more than just a pretty face. She is here to spark conversations and unabashedly call out wrongdoers. The actress took to Twitter to share her sentiments. “Really hoping that this movie will spread awareness and enlighten us on the struggles of dealing with mental health,” she wrote. “But the poster? It’s a no for me. Mental health is NOT a joke. Stop the stigma.”
In the past, Liza has opened about her own struggles with mental health and anxiety mid-pandemic. She has also spoken up and shed light on a number of other important issues — such as the ABS-CBN shut down — which has made her a palaban Queen in this generation.
What’s wrong with it?
The poster makes a mockery of people with mental health illness, it’s very upsetting & i feel sad that they depict people w/ mental health issues with tongues sticking out. Mental health is not a joke! Proud & admire @lizasoberano for using her voice. Thank you Hopie.
— Lynney (@Lynney4LIZQUEN) February 8, 2021
People who have no interest in watching the film might dismiss the poster as some sort of comedic take on ’tililing,’ a Filipino derogatory term for someone who is mentally ill. And by this alone, it might manage to undermine the hard work many have put on destigmatizing mental health in the Philippines. This is what mental health advocates, such as Liza who is a psychology major, are wary of.
Many have called Tililing‘s poster and title “insensitive” and “distasteful.” It featured veteran and well-known Pinoy actors with wacky expressions. “May sayad, may sapak, may saltik, may topak, may tama, may pitik,” the poster’s caption read. “Lahat tayo ay baliw, sira-ulo at praning, lahat tayo ay may TILILING.”
In 2019, Director Darryl Yap has mentioned that the movie will skirt around themes of horror, comedy, and drama.
MentalHealthPH back Liza up
— MentalHealthPH (@mentalhealthph) February 8, 2021
The actress isn’t alone in her sentiments. If netizen’s support isn’t enough to drive a point, even MentalHealthPH has backed Liza up. The call to help end the stigma surrounding mental health is a heavy burden on the shoulders of many Filipinos seeking to help others. MentalHealthPH reminds everyone that mental health matters should never be taken as a joke, not in regular conversations and especially not in mainstream media.
Netizens call out Director Darryl Yap
Do better Darryl Yap. Hindi pa natin alam yung context ng movie (lol but considering DY?) pero bakit naman ganto yung poster? Title? Insensitive. Daming tao nagpapakalat ng mental health awareness and to stop the stigma. Sana naman aware din yung direktor neto.
— Engr. Anton Villegas (@markantonv) February 7, 2021
Netizens were less than pleased to find that Tililing is directed by Darryl Yap, a director who has had various issues in the past (more on that later).
a film by darryl yap… what do you expect https://t.co/zSwhmeXN1I
— p a u (@pettypautato) February 8, 2021
the day media companies stop giving darryl yap a platform is the day we can all finally have peace
— (@heyyowitsitch) February 8, 2021
Yap has landed in hot water before for his other projects
How to make a Darryl Yap Film
1. Think of a controversial topic
2. Write a short script about the topic in all caps
3. Make the lead actor/actress scream mid-film
4. Make the lead actor/actress remove his/her clothes while screaming
5. Edit and post the video
— Mar(x)c (@Mrcxism) August 8, 2020
This isn’t the first time Darryl Yap’s name was attached to controversy. He’s one of the creators behind Facebook page VinCentiments, the official page of independent theater group SaWakas. VinCentiment’s short films have earned the ire of netizens in the past for their expletive-filled dodgy content. Their short film Online Class, for example, showed a student ranting about the difficulties of online learning even blaming teachers as blind to the concerns of students. The UP College of Education Student Council released a statement condemning the short film for being “outright irresponsible, insensitive, and infuriating.”
And yet prior to that, Yap was also criticized for his digi-series The Cousins: Minsan sa Pinsan. This time, it was about an incestuous relationship between cousins.
— Clarrise Alvarez (@iamqueenbellee) August 8, 2020
EXCUSE ME DARRYL YAP, DONT YOU EVER COMPARE THE STRUGGLES OF OUR COMMUNITY FOR MEDIA REPRESENTATION TO YOUR DISGUSTING AGENDA OF NORMALIZING INCEST.
HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A TABOO- INCEST IS! STOP THIS RIGHT NOW https://t.co/jl00rdCDFN
— Lea | ia (isang apparition) ⚖ (@bortamewgulf) June 15, 2020
cancel culture only exist to Darryl Yap like pls end his career his works are all bullshit
— mx julian #JoinPandaySining (@lesbianjesuus) August 8, 2020
Some are holding off on judging for now
I’m not pro Darryl Yap here, I’m just curious why these multi-talented and award winning artists agreed to do this film. Like some said, Candy has a son with autism, and Ms Gina has played some roles incredibly, that concerns mental health, I’m hoping they are aware of the+
— John Paul Suarez (@johnpaulbsuarez) February 7, 2021
Netizens were quick to point out that Candy Pangilinan has a son with autism, questioning her consent to take part in a movie with a debatable theme. But when all’s said and done, the movie is yet to be released, some are still holding off condemning it based on the poster and are patiently waiting for its premiere.
Yap attempts to defend his movie
In the end, Liza also apologizes
Thank you kuya Baron for the kind words and sorry if I have offended anyone. I’m afraid my intentions were misinterpreted. I always want the best for films that tap into mental health, so I wish this film all the best. Looking forward to seeing it.
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) February 8, 2021
Liza issued her own apology after seeing Baron Geisler’s Facebook post. Let’s be clear, Liza did not have to apologize for anything, but she did anyway. It’s not easy to air out opinions on social media since not everyone’s beliefs are aligned with yours. But for the same reason Liza can share her opinion about Tililing, Darryl Yap can create a movie about his views too, no matter how controversial. In the end, we choose what to consume, so it’s up to us to take this as an opportunity to educate others on mental health, or be reduced to random netizens ranting about it online until the next controversial trend comes along.
What do you think about Darryl Yap’s Tililing?