So the MTRCB is summoning directors Antoinette Jadaone, Andoy Ranay, Executive Producer Arnel Nacario and head writer Shugo Praico to a conference to discuss last week’s episodes, after the amount of complaints that their office received particularly for the love scene between James Reid and Nadine Lustre in the backseat of a car, and for a line that said “sex lang yan,” uttered by Kim Molina’s character Kelly.
Being a avid viewer of the show who saw it from the very beginning, and not just a casual viewer who chanced upon the scene and was “scandalized” into lodging a complaint to the MTRCB, I would sincerely like to appeal to the professionalism of the MTCRB in reviewing this case.
First and foremost, the love scene, while it happened in the back of a car, was tastefully done. It did not show the nudity. The fact that the character of Iris cried the morning after was because of a deeply ingrained belief that men were only after sex and would leave her afterwards once the deed was done.
Basti is not such a character. He truly loved Iris and wanted to marry her even before they lost their heads and gave in to passion. And even afterwards, he stood by her in facing the wrath of her mother and took her every concern into consideration — whether she wanted to get married or cancel the wedding, so long as they stayed together. Any complaint hinting that the intimacy was not consensual or that Basti coerced Iris into doing the deed obviously did not get the context of the message or understand the motivation behind the character’s actions.
It can be recalled that prior to airing, Direk Tonette tweeted: “More than anything, it is this: a look on what young, reckless, immature love can do….” meaning that more than the act in itself, the intent of the scene was not to spur lustful thoughts, but rather to inspire a conversation about what is happening among the younger generation.
— Tonette, Tonette (@tonetjadaone) October 25, 2016
As for the part about Kelly dismissing the act as “Sex lang yan.” One only has to listen to the entire flow of the conversation to understand that Kelly and Ali were representing the old and new views about premarital sex. While moralists will not accept the character’s liberated position on the matter, it is what is happening now among millenials. The rest of the conversation presented the opposing view about the weight of getting married and the consequences of premarital sex.
Under the MTRCB guidelines, section 3 in particular states : The classification shall be based on the treatment of theme, violence, language, nudity, sex, horror, illegal drugs and other similar elements. In making the evaluation, the BOARD shall not look at pieces of film, television, and related promotional materials in isolation, but shall consider the submitted material in its entirety.
This means to say that one particular scene (or two) should not be the basis for the judging the episode or the show as a whole. Besides, all things considered, the episode was rated SPG Striktong Patunubay ng Magulang ay Kailangan para sa mga Batang Manunuod, meaning parents were forewarned about the content of the episode even before it began. It was their role to educate their children as to the context of the scene if their children are not yet mature enough to process such material. It s a shared responsibility among the networks, the board and the parents to see to it that their children will only be exposed to material suitable to their sensibilities.
Besides, the fact that it was approved for airing meant the episodes abided by the standards set by the board and was not in violation of its guidelines.
Further, under its terms: “Any television program that does not conform to the “G”, “PG” or “SPG” classification shall be disapproved for television broadcast. The material shall be disapproved for television broadcast if, in the judgment of the Board applying contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard, it is objectionable for being immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines or its people, or with a dangerous tendency to encourage the commission of violence, or of a wrong, or crime…”
I sincerely doubt that any of the complainants could classify Till I Met You under this category.
I understand that the MTRCB is compelled to take action because it is their job to address complaints but I am only hoping for fairness throughout this process.
Till I Met You is a courageous show that reflects the plight of millenials. It is not always welcomed by all audience groups but a quick monitor of social media sites using the Hashtag of the Day will quickly show that TIMY viewers are not just watching the show for the requisite “kilig.” There are discussions about LGBT issues. There are people who relate their own lives to the story of Till I Met You whether it be involving “coming out” or getting married early. Its an eye opener that changes the face of the usual teleserye amnesia trope and I sincerely hope that the show doesn’t get punished for daring to be honest because that would be a sad day for Philippine television indeed.