Naglabas na ng official statement ang pamunuan ng TV5 kaugnay sa pinakabagong kontrobersiya na kinasasangkutan ng primetime variety-game show na Willing Willie matapos ang March 12 episode nito.
Umani ng batikos ang programa at ang main host nito na si Willie Revillame dahil sa ang pakiramdam ng ilang manonood ay ginawa nitong katawa-tawa sa harap ng kamera ang menor de edad na contestant ng programa na nakilala sa pangalang Jan-Jan Suan. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)
Mabilis na kumalat ang video ng nasabing episode sa YouTube, kung saan ipinapakita ang batang kalahok na paulit-ulit na sumasayaw ng isang sexy dance number na ikinatuwa naman ni Willie at ng studio audience.
Humingi ng paumanhin ang TV5 sa publiko at sa mga manonood na hindi nagustuhan ang nasabing insidente.
Subalit nilinaw rin ng istasyon na walang intensiyon ang programa na pahiyain o abusuhin ang batang contestant at maging sino man na lumalahok sa Willing Willie.
"Like most contestants on the show, Jan-Jan, accompanied by his aunt, joined the program to showcase his talent and play in a game segment in the hope of bringing home big prizes. He has performed in the past in school programs and mall contests, and his performance in Willing Willie was completely voluntary and with the blessings of his parents," saad ng pahayag.
Tanging layunin lang daw ng programa ang makapagbigay kasiyahan at pag-asa sa mga manonood na sumusubaybay sa loob at labas ng studio.
TV5 STATEMENT. Narito ang kabuuang pahayag ng TV5 na ipinadala sa PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa pamamagitan ng e-mail ngayong gabi, March 28:
"Mr. Willie Revillame, the producers of Willing Willie and TV5 sincerely and deeply apologize for the segment of the show featuring 6-year-old Jan-Jan Suan which viewers may have found offensive or in bad taste. We wish to stress that there was never any intention to humiliate or abuse Jan-Jan or any contestant on the show.
"Willing Willie is a program that was conceptualized to bring joy and hope and shine the spotlight on ordinary Filipinos. The program aims to provide a venue for everyone to show their talents, tell their stories and make their dreams come true. This is the thrust of everyone involved in the program, particularly its host, Willie Revillame.
"Like most contestants on the show, Jan-Jan, accompanied by his aunt, joined the program to showcase his talent and play in a game segment in the hope of bringing home big prizes. He has performed in the past in school programs and mall contests, and his performance in Willing Willie was completely voluntary and with the blessings of his parents.
"He appeared to be sad or even in tears, not because he was being forced to dance, but because he felt the dance was "serious" and he was playing a role. He did not want to smile because of his missing upper front teeth and because of the presence on the set of former basketball player Bonel Balingit who Jan-Jan thought was a scary 'giant.'
"Again, TV5 and Wil Productions express profound regret for any insensitivity on their part, and wish to thank all those who have expressed concern. We are always grateful to be reminded of our obligations to the viewing public.
"In turn, we hope to make clear that the objective of the show has always been to bring joy and hope to Filipinos, whether they are participating in the show or viewing at home."