Lala Sotto, Chair of the Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB), addressed the onslaught of complaints thrown at her function as the agency's head in a recent news conference conducted on September 28, 2023. The uproar began when the popular noontime program, "It's Showtime," was suspended for 12 days after a cake-icing incident on its July 25, 2023 broadcast.

Lala Sotto Addresses the Issues Surrounding her Chairmanship at MTRCB.
Image: Facebook/MTRCB

The Criticism Storm

Lala Sotto has been the victim of continuous abuse from "It's Showtime" fans since the ban was announced. Many people have even called for her resignation. The supposed "conflict of interest" owing to her family links is central to the debate - Lala is the daughter of veteran personality Tito Sotto, who is one of the major hosts of E.A.T. on TV5, a competitor network to "It's Showtime."

Netizens have accused the MTRCB of bias, claiming that it has not been as harsh in its criticism of other programmes, notably those shown on E.A.T.

Lala Sotto's Firm Pose

During the press conference, Lala Sotto stood firm in her stance, emphatically rejecting any conflict of interest stemming from her dual responsibilities as MTRCB chair and Tito Sotto's daughter. She said, "I truly believe my being a Sotto or my father's daughter should not be taken against me." Instead, she underlined that her history and passion for the business should be considered as positives, since she is well-versed in the inner workings of the entertainment industry.

She then addressed her critics, saying, "I really believe that we should respect other people's opinions as well, that's their opinion, there's nothing I can do." I'm simply performing my job in a humble and fair manner."

The MTRCB's Unwavering Position

The MTRCB's statement that they were sustaining the 12-day ban on "It's Showtime," despite pleas from ABS-CBN and GMA-7, was a critical point in the news conference. 27 of the 30 board members decided to reject both networks' appeals.

"This is not effective immediately," Lala explained. Yes, they may submit a request for reconsideration, which is an appeal to the President's office. They have 15 days to complete this task."

In conclusion

The dispute surrounding Lala Sotto's chairmanship at MTRCB and its consequences for "It's Showtime" is still hotly debated. While detractors point out possible conflicts of interest, Lala maintains that her business roots are an asset rather than a curse. The MTRCB's decision to maintain the suspension adds fuel to the fire.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that this is a problem that goes beyond simple regulatory choices, delving into the complicated interplay of familial relationships and professional obligations in the entertainment business. The eventual result is unknown, but one thing is certain: the investigation into Lala Sotto and the MTRCB is far from done.

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