GMA-7's Entertainment Group clarifies that the social media trend, The Boyet Challenge, is not connected to the network's initiatives in promoting its afternoon series, My Special Tatay.
The Kapuso Network issued this clarification after the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) released a statement urging the public to stop doing The Boyet Challenge.
In the videos, participants can be seen imitating the manner of speaking of Ken Chan's character in My Special Tatay.
Ken's character is Boyet, a young dad who has mild intellectual disability and mild Autism Spectrum Disorder.
In a statement sent to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) by its Corporate Communications Department today, February 1, GMA-7 explained that it did not initiate the controversial challenge.
The Kapuso Network also supported ASP's request for the public "to stop sharing and creating videos ridiculing people with autism."
GMA-7 then expressed its gratitude to the show's loyal supporters.
Here is the full statement:
"GMA Network aims to spread awareness and appreciation for mentally, physically, and differently-abled people through its Afternoon Prime series, My Special Tatay.
"From the start, the advocacy of the show is to help viewers understand better the plight of people with intellectual disabilities.
"As such, we are one with the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) in calling on netizens to treat people with autism with dignity and respect.
"The viral videos that have been circulating on social media tagged as 'The Boyet Challenge' was not initiated by the program and we join the ASP’s appeal to stop sharing and creating videos ridiculing people with autism.
"We are immensely grateful for the support the show has been receiving and we hope that it continues to inspire and impart valuable lessons to our Kapuso viewers."