The Philippine Star 04/12/2005
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Date Posted: 21:08:03 04/13/05 Wed
Author Host/IP: 188.8.131.52
Dirty' TV: Who must do the cleaning up?
STAR BYTES by Butch Francisco
The Philippine Star 04/12/2005
Long before I took my annual break (usually around Holy Week), cell
phone nude/sex videos involving celebrities were already being
regularly being exposed in the movie talk shows of both ABS-CBN and
It started with Mahal, then Troy Montero (exposed by The Buzz),
Ethel Booba and Alex Crisano (also an exposé by The Buzz), Cedric
Carreon (I think it was S-Files that first came out with it) and–
right smack into the Lenten season –StarStruck avenger Christine
And then, while I was merrily away during my vacation, Startalk came
out with the sex video of Piolo Pascual and there was pandemonium.
It is easy to understand why there is so much ado about the Piolo
video. Piolo Pascual, after all, is a very respected movie-TV figure–
a grand slam acting winner–and a bona fide Crush ng Bayan.
Even more understandable is the rather panicky reaction of ABS-CBN
because Piolo is the niño bonito of Star Cinema, the TV network's
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see how the Piolo sex video feature
was presented on Startalk because–as I've already stated–I was on
leave from the program that time it was shown. (Even if I were
there, there would also have been a chance I wouldn't get to see it
because when you are on a live program, you don't always get to
watch the VTR features because while these are being aired you can
be chatting with the staff or your co-hosts or being briefed for the
A friend who saw it and whose objectivity–I swear to heaven–I trust,
however, watched it and said that it was presented in a very
I know this shouldn't come from me because I'm one of Startalk's
hosts, but then, this also gives me the authority to talk about the
processes involved in coming out with the show's weekly features.
The operational word on Startalk is caution. And then, there's the
legal matter. Oh, how we've always wanted to pull our hair and gnash
our teeth every time the legal department of GMA 7 would kill our
stories because of possible legal problems. That happened many, many
times and will happen some time. To this day, I'm still sore with
the network over an unaired story–which I feel is my best interview
ever–because of some legalities involved. But that is how we operate
on Startalk. You can't be too careful.
With regard to the Piolo story, I really cannot say much because I
was away while it was being hatched. But then, I feel that this
story was going to break out anyway because the video–so I
understand–had been going from cell phone to cell phone. Even if
Startalk didn't touch it, some other movie talk show would have
picked it up. Perhaps not The Buzz or ETK because Piolo is an ABS-
CBN talent. Maybe S-Files would.
And here's the sticky situation movie talk show people are in: With
four showbiz-oriented programs crowding the TV landscape and with
the very uneventful current scenario in the movies, all four shows
would kill for any story.
It's a vicious game–I have to admit. But it has to be done in the
name of survival. And it's not only showbiz-oriented programs that
do that. Even public affairs program are forced to stick their
fingers into the movie pie and swallow showbiz dung when the ratings
So what should be done so that we do not continue trampling on the
careers and, more importantly, the dignity and privacy of film-TV
At this point, I suggest that the people behind the four movie talk
shows meet and set parameters on how to handle showbiz stories
before things get to be really dirty on local TV.
I do not know who would initiate the move, but something has to be
Mercifully, the celebrities who figured in these recent cell phone
video scandals continue to hang on and are still slugging it out
with the rest of the showbiz humanity.
Well, that is the wonder of show business. In an industry that
thrives on muck, no amount of scandal can ruin a movie-TV star's
Vilma Santos figured in a Betamax scandal many years ago. But that
didn't harm her career. Maybe because all those video clips–oh-so-
crudely-done–turned out to be bogus. (The good mayor of Lipa City
can now laugh at this chapter of her life).
But then, wasn't there another video of a sexy actress that turned
out to be authentic? That sex video–although the real thing as many
of us would attest–hardly affected the sexy star's career either.
After that sex video had made the rounds of private homes (yes,
still on Betamax), the sexy star eventually became an award-winning
actress. Although she is not that active anymore (her choice), it's
not her sex video that comes to mind among serious movie buffs, but
her string of award-winning performances in her films.
Piolo Pascual therefore may even turn this horrible episode in his
life into something positive. I know he is going through a very
difficult period at the moment, but this would be over soon–
especially in this industry with such bad memory.
Years from now, this video issue would be forgotten (by next month,
I bet people won't even be talking about it anymore).
When Piolo is old and gray, this incident would just be a footnote
in showbiz history. What people would remember is the Piolo Pascual
who was a great actor. The Piolo Pascual who was a very nice person.
The Piolo Pascual who held his head high in the midst of the
toughest moment in his life.
NOTE: THE INSIDE BUZZ - ITS ONE OF THE MEDIA PUBLICISTS
OF CHANNEL 2 WHO IS SPREADING THE PIOLO PASCUAL RUMORS.
THE SAME PUBLICIST WHO CREATED THE REGINE-KUH RUMORS AS
WELL AS MANY OF THE MEDIA ATTACKS AGAINST POPS IN THE PAST!
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