Stand-up comedian Vice Ganda had a field day mocking GMA News anchor Jessica Soho during his concert last May 17. During a two-minute monologue, the comedian, Jose Marie Viceral in real life, said if Soho would star in a bold movie, it will be titled “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Sobra,” a reference to the anchor’s rotund figure.
Vice Ganda also joked that Soho will have a hard time using a weighing scale. See the clip here. “Ang hirap nga lang kung si Jessica Soho magbo-bold. Kailangan gang rape lagi. Sasabihin ng rapist, ‘Ipasa ang lechon.’ Sasabihin naman ni Jessica, ‘Eh nasaan yung apple?’” the Showtime host continued.
Four days after the concert, Soho and her GMA News subordinates have finally reacted to the matter. Saksi anchor Arnold Clavio fired the opening salvo through his morning program in DZBB. “Bakit mo binibiktima ang mga taong seryoso sa trabaho nila? Huwag mo silang kasangkapanin para lang makapagpagpatawa. Bakit hindi taga-diyan sa inyo ang gawin mong subject ng jokes mo? Bakit hindi taga-ABS-(CBN)?” he said.
Shortly after Clavio’s remarks, other GMA News reporters including Bam Alegre, Maki Pulido, and Jiggy Manicad took to Twitter to defend their voice and condemn the comedian. Their criticisms of the comedian center on his alleged insensitivity to gang rape victims. It is not clear though why it took eleven days for anyone from GMA News to react on Viceral’s insults against Soho.
Soho herself has reacted to the issue through a statement sent to GMA News Online. “Rape is not a joke and should never be material for a comedy concert,” she said. She added: “I thank all those who shared my hurt and expressed their support, but this should not be about me but about rape victims who suffer tremendously from this terrible crime. The horrors they go through are unspeakable and should never be taken lightly, especially by way of a cruel joke.”
The comedian has not responded to the issue in today’s episode of Showtime, but he might do so tomorrow. He nevertheless turned emotional when he talked about his latest visit to his ailing grandfather in Pangasinan, a fact that ABS-CBN dutifully reported as news.
PERSONAL: There’s no issue about Vice Ganda making jokes about Soho’s weight. It seems to be human nature to ridicule people for their appearance. I’m guilty of that too frequently. Remember the issue years ago when Joey de Leon jokingly referred to Pokwang as “mukhang aswang” and all the indignation that followed it?
The issue is, did he cross the line in using gang rape as part of his material? As I mentioned in a previous post, the media for the longest time has been guilty of trivializing rape, a heinous crime. He probably meant no offense against anyone, but he’s guilty of making a distasteful joke. How will Vice Ganda address the issue? Will it affect the ratings of Showtime? Abangan.