A very different ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ awaits its viewers.
This was after the MTRCB imposed some strict guidelines to the show following complaints that it offended viewer sensibilities. Among these complaints included the controversial ‘bromance’ between 12-year old Bailey May and 18-year old Kenzo Gutierrez.
In a four-page resolution that was signed by the MTRCB, they ordered the producers of PBB: 737 to:
- Immediately institute remedial and self-regulatory measures to ensure the protection, welfare and development of all participants, especially minors, as well as the viewing public, a sizable percentage of which is made up of minors
- Immediately cease and desist from requiring participants to engage in activities and tasks which may be deemed hazardous to their life and safety
- Enter into a strict and close collaborations with the Board, from July 10 until the end of the season
- Require all story editors to undergo a ‘Matalinong Panonood’ and audience sensitivity seminar on July 16, 23 and 30 at the MTRCB office
- Require ABS-CBN and SkyCable to place an advisory at the beginning of each episode of the three programs, stating that ‘the program may contain sensitive material’ and that ‘viewer discretion is advised’, as long as minor housemates remain present on the show
- Elevate the rating classification of PBB: 737 Gold (aired every weekday afternoon) to ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ (SPG), with descriptions of themes, language and sex, from July 10 to the end of the season, or as long as minor housemates remain present; same rule applies to PBB: 737 on Jeepney TV
- Limit its application for permit to exhibit to seven episodes per application in order to ensure the correct and proper implementation of the committed remedial and self-regulatory measures
- Strictly implement a comprehensive ‘closing-out’ discussion by a subject matter expert after the completion of every task or challenge for the proper understanding of the lesson
- Ensure all parallel broadcast of PBB: 737 in cable television and in other media, including social media, shall not be in contravention with the directives and objectives of this order
Even before the MTRCB ruling was made public, ABS-CBN has already shut down the SkyCable and iWanTV livestream of PBB: 737, citing the netizens’ irresponsibility towards the Bailey-Kenzo ‘bromance’ incident. The cancellation took effect a week prior to the meeting between the MTRCB and ABS-CBN executives.
This is not the first time that the MTRCB responded to an incident that took place inside the Big Brother house. Since the first season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, there have been similar obscene incidents that earned the ire of the MTRCB, the most recent of which was the nude painting task during last season’s ‘All In’.
That said, the producers of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ should be responsible for the way the housemates, especially those below legal age, are being treated. PBB is among the most-watched programs on Philippine TV today, and any further controversy on the show may hurt its strong viewership.
Hopefully this should serve as a lesson to all other Filipino reality shows, both current and future. After all, no one wants to be offended by something immoral.