Public clamor for the ban of actor and TV host Willie Revillame from television is still steadily increasing a week after he uttered his now-infamous—or at least much-misunderstood—lines in the noontime show Wowowee. An online petition asking ABS-CBN to axe Willie, for instance, has now gathered more than 48,000 signatures.
The majority of the people's reactions—written on Internet forums, threads, and even in PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal)—sounds outraged. They have called the TV host "irresponsible," "arrogant," and "immoral."
Several petitioners, moreover, have suggested several names to serve as Willie's permanent replacement in the show, among them: Randy Santiago, APO Hiking Society, Arnell Ignacio, and actor John Lloyd Cruz.
Willie, meanwhile, has been on a voluntary indefinite leave since last Saturday, August 8. ABS-CBN still has not announced when he will be back on the show.
The entertainment press had a chance to ask John Lloyd about the issue today, August 14, at the launch of Greenwich's new Xtreme Xheese Pizza for Men in SM Megamall Atrium. John Lloyd, an endorser of the pizza chain, had hosted Wowowee a number of times in the past, such as when Willie was sick.
According to the actor, although he enjoyed hosting the noontime show, his current schedule would not allow him to do so on a regular or long-term basis. John Lloyd is currently finishing the movie, In My Life, starring him with the mother-and-son team Vilma Santos and Luis Manzano.
"Yung schedule ko won't allow me to host Wowowee at this point, kasi yung pelikula nga ngayon, siyempre, susunod na 'yan... So, medyo gahol din kami sa oras," John Lloyd explained.
The reigning Box-Office King added that although he shared Willie's "noble" intentions for the Filipino audience, it would be impossible for him to permanently replace the comedian in the vital ABS-CBN noontime slot.
"Medyo pareho kami ni Kuya Willie ng intensyon sa audience, e," John Lloyd elaborated. "Gusto namin magpasaya, yung mga hinanakit nila [public], gusto ko ring i-share para maging inspirasyon sa iba. In that sense, oo, gusto kong mag-host ng Wowowee. Pero para ako ang pumalit kay Kuya Willie nang permanente sa Wowowee, imposible pong mangyari yun."
John Lloyd added that he actually believed nobody can host Wowowee but Willie, who has been headlining the program since its February 2005 premiere. The problem between Willie and management, he said, must now be resolved.
"Alam naman natin na ang Wowowee ay para kay Kuya Willie. Siya ang nagtayo ng show na 'yon. Siya lang ang nag-iisang tao para manatili sa show na 'yon. So kung ano man ang problema nila, sana maayos na nila," John Lloyd said.
THEATER BAN. Moving on to another hot issue, the press asked John Lloyd what he had to say about the ongoing ban of Star Cinema movies by SM Cinemas. (Click here to read related story)
"Hindi pa kami nakapag-usap regarding this matter," John Lloyd replied, "pero sinabi ko lang sa manager namin, kay Tita Mariole Alberto [executive of ABS-CBN talent-management arm Star Magic], na it's something na hindi ko gugustuhing mangyari sa pelikula ko. Pero it's something na nandiyan na. So, wala na tayong magagawa."
The actor, moreover, said that he still wanted to be optomistic in the midst of these anxieties. He said he was happy with the support that Star Cinema is getting from the cinemas of other malls, which have provided And I Love You So, the movie affected by the current ruckus, with many movie theaters.
"Ito yung pagkakataon for you to practice yung how to look at the brighter side," the 26-year-old matinee star pointed out. "Nagpull-out man ang Star Cinema sa SM Malls, ang dami namang malls na nag-open... So, that's something to be happy about."