WILLIE Revillame, the host of the wildly popular noontime variety show Wowowee on ABS-CBN Television, is no stranger to controversy. His latest venture into hot water occurred on Monday when he objected on the air to having the "live" windows on television screens showing the procession of the body of the late President Corazon Aquino from La Salle Green Hills Gym to Manila Cathedral.
"It's not right that we're having fun here on Wowowee and then viewers also watching the funeral procession of Cory Aquino. Please take away the small windows," said Willie in Tagalog, apologizing to his bosses at the network.
The technicians in the control room followed his instructions and took away the two live boxes that had been showing Cory Aquino's funeral procession.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, bloggers and viewers were outraged at Willie's remarks, saying they were insensitive and should not have been said on the air.
I must admit to agreeing with Willie this time, even though I have criticized him harshly in the past for other sexist and sleazy remarks he has made on the show in the past. He says that he told the ABS-CBN that he was ready to give way to live broadcast of Cory's funeral procession, but that the network had forced him to go on with his live show.
I call this a case of greedy ABS-CBN trying to have its cake and eat it too! They should have chosen one or the other, and certainly not try to mix the sad and emotional pictures of the former president's body being taken to the Manila Cathedral, while skimpily clad women gyrated and laughed on Wowowee. That was truly grotesque and revealing in a horrifying way of how ABS-CBN felt the money-making vulgarity of Wowowee had to continue no matter what, even if Cory Aquino were being mourned and buried.
Willie shouldn't have apologized. ABS-CBN should apologize for mixing the two events together. What they did was unforgivable and in terrible taste. Shame on them!