chuvaness
Willie Revillame goes international
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My brother-in-law who is visiting from Sydney, Australia told me he had seen a Filipino TV show host who had paid a kid to dance on TV—like a stripper. He had seen it in a morning show in Australia, where viewers had an outraged discussion about child abuse.
Here’s what The Australian had to say about it:

Game show disgrace highlights sexual exploitation of Asian children
By Emma-Kate Symons
The Australian, April 10, 2011 8:07PM

willing willie

IT is a story about show business and the lust for fame, the struggle between permissiveness and social conservatism, and child exploitation: it is a very Philippines sort of scandal.
Willie Revillame, the country’s highest-paid TV identity, is under investigation for child abuse after he goaded a bawling six-year-old boy to gyrate like a male stripper before a guffawing live audience and millions of viewers.
In the March episode of Revillame’s show, Jan-Jan Suan, tears streaming down his face, agreed to simulate a pelvic thrusting “macho dancer” – male stripper in The Philippines – in exchange for 10,000 pesos ($220) for his poor family.
Footage of Jan-Jan’s televised humiliation quickly went viral.
Government ministers and religious leaders rushed to denounce the star. The Movie and Television Review Classification Board and Human Rights Commission announced investigations into allegations of child abuse.
At first glance, images of the skinny lad dancing nervously to a tune from rapper Snoop Dogg seem relatively innocuous.
But a closer look tells a more disturbing story. As Jan-Jan cries in distress while grimly bumping and grinding, the studio audience, including his family, is in fits of laughter, egged on by the host.

Merciless, Revillame pushes the six-year-old to keep dancing for money, mocking his performance as comparable to Burlesk Queen, the 1970s Philippines cult movie starring actress Vilma Santos (now a politician) as a bikini-clad cabaret performer whose sexy dance routine so traumatises her she has a miscarriage on stage.
“That’s how hard life is. Jan-Jan has to learn macho dancing at his age, for the sake of his family,” Revillame says with a laugh.
The besieged host launched a diatribe against his celebrity critics on Friday as he announced a two-week suspension of the top-rating program Willing Willie. “Don’t pulverise me. I’m not a bad person. I only want to help the poor,” Revillame pleaded in a histrionic 25-minute “farewell” speech, beseeching viewers to “pray for this program to be back on air”.
He charged some of The Philippines’ top singers and actors with leading a Twitter and Facebook campaign to push advertisers to pull commercials from Willing Willie.
The network has appointed an internal ombudsman to monitor treatment of minors.
Still, the star of Willing Willie is tipped to return to the TV screen.

The forces that put Jan-Jan in the spotlight have elements peculiar to The Philippines, but Manila is not an isolated case.
Across Southeast Asia, in TV game shows, reality programs and talent contests, product launches, advertisements and mainstream films, children and minors under the malleable Asian age of consent are increasingly depicted in a highly sexualised and erotic fashion.
Thai commercial TV broadcasts popular “mini-Thai idol”-style contests showcasing heavily made-up children as young as three in sexy get-up, dancing and singing provocatively.
Similar fare is increasingly dished up to audiences in Indonesia and in poorer Cambodia. Often it’s cutesy but more often blatantly pedophile-friendly. In Thailand, where made-up toddler girls sport pink T-shirts saying “I’m Single”, the press occasionally reports on controversies surrounding beauty contests for children from the age of three.
The treatment of Southeast Asian children as commodities extends from the mainstream media to bars and brothels.
Experts agree that a pernicious popular and private culture of impunity regarding sexual abuse and trafficking of children still exists in the region and is worsening. According to law enforcement agencies and academic specialists, trafficking and prostitution of young children is on the rise. Thailand today is functioning more as a trafficking hub for child prostitutes and “illegal immigrants” from neighbouring poor countries such as Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

A new study backed by the French Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia, “The Trade in Human Beings for Sex in Southeast Asia”, edited by Pierre Le Roux, says sex trafficking of women and children, “already widespread internationally, continues to escalate”. “Thailand is an emerging epicentre of both sex trafficking and sex tourism”, the study says, noting that the first sex tourists are local and regional, followed by the smaller but persistent group of foreigners from outside Asia.
Some figures suggest as many as 250,000 women and children are trafficked annually in Southeast Asia.
Estimates of the number of child prostitutes in Thailand range from fewer than 2000 to the high hundreds of thousands. The Philippines is believed to have more than 100,000 child prostitutes.
Le Roux points to cultural factors, such as Southeast Asian concepts of “sacrifice” and the “younger sibling”, as facilitating the prostitution of children and women.
Locals and foreigners often mistakenly think that with economic and social development, the scourge of pedophilia and widespread child prostitution is at least diminishing in Southeast Asia, from the heights of the 1980s and 1990s.

Australians recall pedophiles such as Robert Dunn who were tracked down by journalists and sometimes police. Cambodia has trumpeted the arrests of high-profile foreigners such as Gary Glitter, while local child abusers, the UN and NGOs attest, go unpunished.
Countering the public-relations spin, the US State Department last year placed Thailand, to Bangkok’s fury, on the high alert “Tier Two watch list” for only making “limited progress” on combating and prosecuting human trafficking, including child prostitution. The Philippines also shared this ignominious status (second year running), alongside new entrants Vietnam and Laos. Wealthy Singapore appeared on the same US watch list. South Asia is not exempt, with India tagged as a top source, destination and transit country for traffickers.
Gender expert Carina Chotirawe, a professor at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, believes more work needs to be done in the region “to shift the consciousness of the parents and society as a whole on the protection of children”.
“Depicting them in a sexualised manner is a form of child abuse and it is very worrying to see children appearing in such lewd ways,” she says.

“The Revillame show was despicable. It felt like he was prostituting poverty, making the poor pander to him for quick cash fixes, as he does on a daily basis, and never mind if it entails a kid being sexed up and crying as he (Jan-Jan) does so pitifully.
“Willie was acting like God, dispensing patronage to parents inured to the poverty they see as their lot in life — and if lewdness gets them instant cash, then so be it.”
For Chotirawe, a deep-seated “cultural wiring” takes place in Southeast Asia where “kids are conditioned to believe that being sexy and looking grown up will get you far more”.
“It devalues education, toil and perseverance,” she says.
“In Thailand, you also see this even at kindergarten performances, with girls dressed up, made up and dancing to songs with provocative lyrics.
“It is no wonder that there is a link to child prostitution. Or in milder cases, if they are more well off and are fortunate to escape that predicament, they are lured to become ‘Pretties’ like the ones you see (parading) at motor shows.”
Australian child protection activist Bernadette McMenamin, founder of Child Wise, agrees that the erotic depiction of children in Southeast Asia is bad news for the battle against sex tourism.
“The sexualisation of children is something that is happening worldwide without society really coming to grips with it,” she says.

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Guest

This is too harsh a judgment! Everyone should see the uncut version before throwing judgment. Why put the blame on Willie? He is the host of the show. It’s his own way of making people laugh and millions of Filipinos didn’t find it abusive!You do not know what spontaneous comedy is. You are just adding salt to an excruciating pain!
Willie Revillame and the Hypocrites

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CVS Reply:

hello miss late adapter. I did post the UNCUT version. dumbass

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CVS Reply:

just saw your dumbest blog ever, by the way. useless opinion.

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Barcodetag

just read that the Parents of Janjan filed a lawsuit to all that stated that Janjan was violated. how sad 🙁

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CVS Reply:

where?

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Jess Lagmay Reply:

@ pep.ph, i just read it there

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lia_lily

I’m always trying to find ways to look at the positive especially with the blatant corruption and plunder going on around us daily. I don’t know what goes on in the minds of TV script writers and hosts that they have to descend to the abyss of human behavior for the ratings. I hope that Philippine TV gives us more than just bad acting, bad entertainment and bad news. This is why I don’t watch local TV except for the news.

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Guest

This is sad. It’s sad for our country, for the show, for the host of the show, for the child and everyone involved and all because of what this child’s parents taught him. As a mother of four, I believe that Jan jan’s parents are to be blamed here. If only they taught him some other talent other than what he did on tv. I blame the media, the people and the government too for blowing this out of proportion that it reached other countries. I mean does anyone know or heard about ‘damage control’ and also upon spreading this… Read more »

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Zczx

kakasawa na topic!

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Guest

My only beef with Willie? He bagged and did Liz Almoro wrong. Yes, I’m jellard!

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Dina C.

He was on the newspaper in Malaysia too

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time_connects

I think this is karma, after the death of 70+ persons at the ULTRA.

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althea

He got his wish finally…willie went global without the help of TFC….other countries finally noticed him, Cristy Fermin is one twisted being…they should go both in hell!

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Guest

The yahoo españa comments are just as passionate and outraged as ours. Nakakahiya man, but i think we can put more pressure on the network if the whole world (literally speaking) will know about this and voice their disapproval about such actions by the show and the network. Deplorable really.

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Cheryl Reply:

True! Meron ngang comments na degrading to Filipina women and to the Philippines as a whole. Nakakairita kasi tinatawanan pa habang umiiyak yung bata!

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Cheryl

True! Meron ngang comments na degrading to Filipina women and to the Philippines as a whole. Nakakairita kasi tinatawanan pa habang umiiyak yung bata!

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Guest

Always hated him. Willie Revillame is a pig and it’s a huge joke that he’s so big here. Read an article about the “dumbing down” of Pinoys through television yesterday. Well, he is one of the main reasons for that. It’s a good thing that after all these years he’s really going under fire for this. [Reply]Mbdales Reply:April 13th, 2011 at 6:14 AMI completely agree. Watching his shows is just hideous. Its soooo whats the word, demeaning, that he makes tons of money by making our fellow kababayans perform acts of humiliation just so they can make a quick buck.… Read more »

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Mbdales

I completely agree. Watching his shows is just hideous. Its soooo whats the word, demeaning, that he makes tons of money by making our fellow kababayans perform acts of humiliation just so they can make a quick buck. True, money can be had in his shows but the underlying effects are not so obvious. It also drives me nuts that alot of my family members actually watch and enjoy his show!! Arrrgghhhh its frustrating! Dont they see how kawawa we look?? What they choose to see are the laughter, money and sexy girls- them too, dont they have a sense… Read more »

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Guester

Oh where, oh where, were we when half naked little girls in bare midriffs were dancing on noontime shows? Are we sexist in our child welfare concerns? The show segment (and Willie) are reprehensible and we are right in raising the issue but we are overreacting in the light of far graver societal problems around us. [Reply]CVS Reply:April 12th, 2011 at 8:54 AMbut they WEREN’T CRYING [Reply]Nicegregs_30 Reply:April 12th, 2011 at 1:15 PMDUH..even nagpapaawa si janjan at tinuruan pa ng parents nya..it doesn’t make it right.. MOTHER WAS CHEERING. SO?? Kung matanda nga pag ngsayaw sa harapan ng maraming tao… Read more »

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Nicegregs_30

You are ignorant guester..how can u say that we are overreacting in the light of far graver societal problems around us? its like saying that child abuse is not that important compare to other issues? The issue goes beyond personalities, goes beyond willie r.. the main issue here is to protect our children, if we will not protect them, who would?

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Guest

may punto ka. pero mas masagwa ito kasi umiiyak yung bata. sila naman, well.. mali rin. so isa-isa muna, hinay-hinay muna. kapag natapos ito, sana pati ung mga sexy dancing sa little girls ay gawan rin ng aksyon. yun lang.

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Concerned_Mom

“Pag sila ang nag deliver, para bang malaking karangalan mo na mabastos ka” says Christy Fermin on Juicy on TV5. The video is on YouTube. I hope she will be reprimanded too.

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Guest

Check this out too: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703716904576135100699102800.html

He announced this on his show that he was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal.

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sjforthewin Reply:

paano niya sinabi?!?

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Guest

paano niya sinabi?!?

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shasta

I beg to disagree. I think that though the child did not disrobe, the fact that he had to act in a certain way, regardless of whether or not he “knew” the implications of such, was already abusive on the part of the adults. One must wonder why such images are “normal fare” for us already. Have we already been desensitized to children being shown in a sexualized manner that we do not feel this is cause for rally and outcry? [Reply]Topaz Horizon Reply:April 12th, 2011 at 8:00 AMSadie, this is Chuvaness’ blog so she can delete and post comments… Read more »

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Guest

Sadie, this is Chuvaness’ blog so she can delete and post comments as she wishes. No need to get upset.

As for what’s not normal… well, I think that if the respected artists and the United Nations and the international communities condemn what happened, then obviously what happened was not normal.

It’s a matter of credibility kasi. Sinong nagalit sa nangyari–yung mga respetadong tao, matatalino at yung mga influential. Sinong okay lang sa nangyari? Obviously, yung hindi influential at respetado.

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Guest

Yea medyo OA nga. Normal lang naman sa mga batang Pinoy na pinapasayaw na kung ano-ano. I remember ung mga cousin kong mga bulingit sumasayaw ng spaghetti-pababa at jumbo hotdog hehe. Wala pa namang malisya mga bata eh… di pa nila yung meaning ng sex. Although I haven’t seen the entire clip. I would guessed kinakabahan yung bata kaya umiiyak and NOT because macho dancing gagawin nya? [Reply]Kat Mascardo Reply:April 12th, 2011 at 8:25 AM“Although I haven’t seen the entire clip.” That line says it all. You admittedly haven’t seen it, yet you’re already dishing out your supposed two cents.… Read more »

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Guest

“Although I haven’t seen the entire clip.”

That line says it all. You admittedly haven’t seen it, yet you’re already dishing out your supposed two cents. Assuming much?
Lack of common sense truly is more and more pervasive nowadays.

P.S. Deciphering right from wrong need not require much influence or intelligence. The natural empathy of human nature will do.

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Guest

Ms Kat Mascardo, grabe ka naman magsalita ‘lack of common sense’? Ang people liked what you said? What kind of society are we becoming when people like you say hurtful words… and other people liked it? You should learn to respect other people’s opinion.

Just wanted to clarify, I’m not a fan of Willie… I don’t like him. What bothered me is forcing a child to do anything he doesn’t like. I was just saying most likely umiiyak ung bata kasi pinilit AT hindi dahil sumasayaw ng macho dancing.

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Guest

I’m sorry if you feel that way, truly. But I am not going to apologize for my opinion just as you are unlikely to apologize about yours. Case in point: you are now contradicting yourself. And I quote you: “I would guessed kinakabahan yung bata kaya umiiyak and NOT because macho dancing gagawin nya?” is an entirely DIFFERENT statement from “I was just saying most likely umiiyak ung bata kasi pinilit AT hindi dahil sumasayaw ng macho dancing.” “Kinabahan” and “Pinilit” are entirely different words that you put in entirely different contexts. So if you are to argue with me… Read more »

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Guest

Hmm…. para sakin it’s the same: kinabahan yung bata kaya umiiyak… pero pinilit pa rin ng magulang…eniwei let’s bury it since holy week naman next week

my point is: yung abuse is forcing a child to do anything he/she is uncomfortable with… it wasn’t exactly the macho dancing. Kung hip hop yung sayaw ng bata tapos umiiyak rin… is it child abuse?… I say yes…

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Guest

Ay nako Mr. Mark LeBouf, stop insisting on what you think na nga eh. Like I said, perhaps it was a wrong choice of words on YOUR part. You may have somehow cleared the issue now, but that doesn’t change the fact na mali pa rin ang sinabi mo in the first place. We can’t read your mind, we can only read what you write. Gets mo? Meaning (and I cannot stress this enough) mali pa rin ang una mong sinulat — not just according to me, but also to many other people, as evidenced by the “likes” (na ikinagalit… Read more »

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Guest

Urgh,a child dancing like a Macho dancer is nnot normal.

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Guest

Yes, wala pang malisya ang mga bata, but that’s not the point. Do you think if they knew and understood the connotation of what they were doing that they would still dance that way? I highly doubt it. That’s why it’s the responsibility of parents as well as society in general to keep them from exposing themselves. The fact that it’s become ‘normal’ here is a sign that we have failed to protect our children. Even if the boy was crying because he was nervous or scared, if your child was on a stage in front of hundreds of people… Read more »

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Guest

Buti pa si Ms Cherry Tan, maganda reply hehe =)

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Tin_tin_silva

eto ang nababasa ko sa mukha ni Jan-Jan nung sumasayaw sya…. “Parang” before that eh may ganitong eksena….

MATANDA: “Sumayaw ka ha para magustuha ka ni Willie! Galingan mo at ng malaki ang pera ang ibigay nya!”
BATA: “ayaw ko po nahihiya ako”
MATANDA: Gusto mong paluin kita? Pag d ka sumayaw ng ayos humanda ka”
oh! well walang nagawa ang bata kundi sumayaw kahit labag sa kalooban nya!

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Guest

Yes, ganyan rin ung hula ko

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Mbdales

“Normal lang naman sa mga batang Pinoy na pinapasayaw na kung anu-ano”. That comment struck a thought. It shouldnt be seen as normal for them to dance kung anu-ano. Like the example you sighted, your young cousins dancing to those suggestive songs, but walang malisya because they dont yet know the meaning of sex. Well those little kids might not know, but did it ever occur to you how some (sick) adults might get off of that? Its just a thought, id like you to ponder on. Add to that, if it gets uploaded on youtube or anywhere on the… Read more »

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Guest

Hi Cecile. Just wanted to share Unicef’s statement with your readers. Thanks!!! “UNICEF works to protect the rights of children everywhere. The recent incident of the six year old boy who was subjected to ridicule and humiliation on the primetime show ‘Willing Willie’ on TV5 is a clear violation of the child’s rights. As the number of hits or views of these videos increase, the rights of this child are violated again and again.” We urge you all to please log on or register to YouTube to help pull all ‘Willing Willie/Jan-Jan’ videos down by flagging them as Inappropriate. Click… Read more »

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Ceemee

What do they say about the show Toddlers & Tiaras? Hehe!

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knn knn Reply:

^It was featured in a morning show a couple of weeks ago.

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Guest

^It was featured in a morning show a couple of weeks ago.

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Guest

And the Willie-roasting continues. However, he’ll still complain that he’s been victimized.

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knn knn Reply:

and he’ll come back stronger I reckon. The massa likes a “downed” hero.

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Guest

and he’ll come back stronger I reckon. The massa likes a “downed” hero.

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Guest

Naku, baka idemanda din nya itong mga taong namention sa article plus the reporter. Nuninununu…

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