Is director Joey Reyes in hot water because of the lengthy article na sinulat niya sa isang major broadsheet na lumabas noong May 17? Sa nasabing artikulo tahasang binara at binatikos ni Direk Joey ang second season ng reality TV show ng ABS-CBNna Pinoy Big Brother (PBB).Sa isang ekslusibong panayam, nakausap ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Lauren Dyogi, ang Business Unit Head ng PBB.
Sa loob mismo ng Bahay ni Kuya ay sinagot ni Direk Lauren ang mga puntong binanggit ni Direk Joey na identified sa Kapamilya network at Star Cinema.
Ayon kay Direk Lauren, bago pa man lumabas ang kontrobersiyal na artikulo ay ipinaalam ni Direk Joey sa Channel 2 na may lalabas itong artikulo na naglalaman ng mga negatibong salita.
"My initial reaction after I've read the article, I was flattered na ang haba, na ang laki ng space na ibinigay niya sa amin.
"Kami naman kasi sa PBB, we want people to talk about the program. So whether the talk is positive or negative, that's still a positive sign. Mas gusto namin 'yong may reaksiyon ang mga tao, kesa 'yong deadma lang.
"Even worldwide, Big Brother tends to be controversial. Meaning, people really talk about it. Matindi ang emotional involvement ng mga viewers sa show. Hindi lang 'yong nage-enjoy sila sa panonood. It's either galit na galit sila sa programa, sa housemates. Or gustong-gusto nila 'yong program and 'yong housemates. Even sa first season, there were so many controversies that came out."
"I know naman Direk Joey, kasi lagi siyang may opinion, di ba? He is very opinionated. So, whatever he wrote, I didn't take it personally. It was his take as a viewer, as a regular viewer ng show.
"I'm flattered that he took the time to write a long article, and it only means he's been watching the show regularly. So, kung ano man ang opinion niya, respetuhin natin.
"Lagi naman kaming ganoon sa viewers namin. Kung ano man ang opinion ng viewers namin, rerespetuhin namin," mahabang pahayag ni Direk Lauren.
As far as Direk Dyogi is concerned, sinabi niyang PBB is not taking Direk Joey's article as a major issue that had to be brought up to Endemol executives. Idinagdag pa niya na sa ibang bansa kung saan franchised din ang pag-eere ng Big Brother show, mas grabe pa ang mga intriga.
"Sa ibang Big Brother editions sa ibang bansa, they encourage people to talk about it. So whether [the talk is] good or bad, ang dating sa kanila noon, it's publicity."
IS PBB TOO COMMERCIALIZED? Isa pang napapansin ng bumabatikos sa programa ay ang diumano'y pagiging masyadong commercialized nito. "Too much commercialism na ang nangyayari," ani Direk Joey. Masyado na raw pinagkakakitaan ng Channel 2 ang mga housemates. Blatantly displayed na nga ang mga produkto all over the house, pati ang mga tasks pa ni Kuya ay sponsored or tie-up with either Coke, C2, Globe, at iba pang produkto.
Aminado ang PBB Business Unit Head na commercial nga ang kanilang reality show ngunit ito ay kinakailangan upang makabawi sa mahal na bayad sa Endemol.
"The franchise is very expensive. And when Endemol sold that franchise to us, the promise was the potential of the marketing, the sales potential is really enormous. Which is true.
"As a producer, I need to recover the cost of this program and ang appeal nito sa amin is dahil nga, 'yong potential niya to be able to have sponsorship within the program na nagagamit namin to also push the story, which is more appealing to ABS.
"ABS is a commercial station. We're doing business [Having sponsors and tie-up]. It's a way of being able to recover our cost.
"Noong first season, siyempre, bago pa lang 'yong show, hindi pa alam ng sponsors namin what the show is really about. Saka ang problema namin noong first season, the image of Big Brother was the global image—which was bastusan, maraming sex, maraming ganyang bagay. So ayaw ng sponsors at that time.
"But when we started doing segments with them within the program, nakita nila 'yong effectivity pag ginagawa 'yong sponsorship segments nila sa amin, mas effective for them.
"Kaya ngayon, hindi kami hirap kumuha ng [sponsors]. Kami na nga ang tumatanggi minsan. Pero meron akong quota, nagko-quota kasi kami ng packages of sale na kailangan naming ma-recover to be able to cover our cost.
"So, it is commercial but that's really one of the elements of this program, talagang to have sponsorships. Kaya nakabalandra talaga, may Coke ka diyan, etc. Saka mahal talaga 'yong binabayad nila so we make sure also na meron silang magandang exposure."
OF DUDES AND DUDETTES. Direk Joey called this season's housemates dudes and dudettes na halos magkakamukha at magkakatipo. People can hardly distinguish one from the other. The housemates daw kasi in the first season, mas malapit sa ordinaryong tao that viewers can identify with. Kabilang na rito sina Raquel Reyes, Franzen Fajardo, Nene Tamayo, at Jayson Gainza.
"Well, iba lang 'yong mix. Unang-una kasi, this is only the second season. It's not as if we've been running for five times or for five long seasons. Ang tendency, ine-expect ng tao lagi ay 'yong how they've seen it before.
"But we consciously make an effort na maiba itong season na ito sa una. Even Endemol is constantly telling us, every season should be independent. Every season should feel different. I cannot have another Franzen. This season, the housemates have unique personalities. Ang ine-expect ng ibang viewers, sana may Franzen ulit, may Jayson ulit.
"Hindi 'yon 'yong naging process namin for Season Two. Unang-una, it's summer. We felt it would be effective if we have a younger audience. And because most of the students, walang pasok, sila 'yong mag-i-stay up late to watch the show.
"So dapat ang housemates, 'yong age bracket na nakaka-relate ang young audience. That's why we have a younger set. Sina Jayson kasi sa first season, magpa-Pasko at that time, e. The first time we did it, it was August.
"Ngayon, iba rin. Even the way we presented our housemates, iba na 'yong proseso. Ngayon, marami na kaming... may secret room kami, may missions. We made sure na iba talaga. Our Endemol consultant comes over and then discusses what are the elements or the changes that we will implement. Kailangan talaga may pagbabago. Hindi puwedeng just the same as the last season. It will get boring pag the same din.
"Sa Australia, pitong seasons na sila. At least sana tumagal man lang ang Big Brother sa Pilipinas ng ganoon katagal. E, tatagal lang naman 'yan kung laging fresh and new ang nakikita."
TRAITOR IN THE RANKS? PEP learned of a text message sent by Joey Reyes to a writer wherein he said, "ABS probably thinks now I'm a traitor."
When asked for his reaction to this, Direk Lauren says he does not see Direk Joey as such. "As far as I know, Direk Joey is with ABS-CBN, because he was part of [Pinoy] Dream Academy, which was the alternate of Big Brother. He was one of our mentors in school. He's still with Sharon.
"Ako, hindi ko pinipersonal 'yong sinulat niya, kasi alam ko, rerespetuhin ko siya bilang isang kritiko at isang manunulat. Labas dito kung ano man 'yong samahan namin as professionals dito sa network.
"Ako, personally, hindi ko siya kino-consider na, I mean, walang ganoon [traitor] or what-have-you. Karapatan niya to write about what he feels.
"I appreciate the fact that he advised na may lalabas na article. It could have been worse. He could have said worse things, pero hindi. Noong nakita ko nga, ‘Wow! Napag-aksayahan ni Direk Joey talaga!' Ang laki ng space at binigay ng Inquirer."
Does Direk Lauren think the article has strained the relationship between the Kapamilya Network and Direk Joey?
"It didn't affect me, so I don't think it will affect the management. As I've said, my respect for him as a writer and a director is still there. So if there is a project that I feel is right for him, di ko naman ipagkakait sa kanya 'yon.
"Mahal ko si Direk Joey and, you know, he's helped me in so many ways. Hindi ganitong bagay ang makakasira sa amin. Saka trabaho lang naman ito, e. Hindi naman ako ang pinipintasan niya, it's the program.
"Pero Big Brother kasi, ang viewership niya is from A to E. I realized na intelihente talaga ang viewers at meron kaming viewers na iba 'yong hinahanap sa programa namin.
"Siyempre, doon kami sa nakakarami. It's still an entertainment program. It's still a commercial show. We don't claim to be inspirational or whatever. Big Brother was never like that even in other countries.
"But kami, we inject as much as we can, something positive. Like, we do charity works also. We make sure that our housemates are able to connect with people outside and be able to reach out and help. Kasabay noon, meron din kaming ginagawa that others may find ridiculous and insulting. Pero to a different set of viewers, naaaliw naman sila.
"We will not be able to cater . . . I mean, we will not be able to please everyone. Actually even 'yong ibang taong nanlalait, I think, nanonood din sila. And I realized, di pwedeng wala kang kinaiinisan doon sa programa.
"Dito 'yong klase ng programa na kailangan ‘pag nanood, mayroong kinaiinisan. Kasi kung hindi, it's not as effective. And we've also proven, I mean Big Brother International editions have proven, na you cannot have a group of people who are of the same mood, na mababait sila, and they're all nice. Kasi hindi siya magiging mas interesting."