|Philippines suspends 'child abuse' TV show|
|Lifestyle - Entertainment|
Philippine censors on Tuesday slapped a month-long ban on a wildly popular television show amid public uproar over a programme in which a six-year-old was cajoled into simulating a striptease.
The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board concluded the March 12 episode of "Willing Willie" violated a law against immoral and indecent broadcasts that run counter to Filipino values.
"Celebrities and TV personalities should exercise the highest degree of care and diligence as they are the most (frequently) seen and their reach and influence is far greater than any other individual," the ruling read.
"It is the responsibility of the network and their talents to educate themselves regarding gender sensitivity, children and women's rights issues... and (how to treat) other marginalised sectors of society."
The episode involving the child went viral on the Internet, and triggered a public furore in the conservative Catholic country as well as calls for local television stations to raise the standards of their programmes.
The show, which is especially popular with the poor due to offering huge prizes that include cash, houses and vehicles, was subsequently taken off the air after advertisers pulled out and the network apologised.
The presenter Willie Revillame and his producers insisted they did not mean to humiliate the boy nor to offend public sensibilities.
Neither Revillame nor his lawyers were available to comment Wednesday. His production company told AFP it expected to comment on the ruling later.
The 50-year-old star, one of the country's biggest taxpayers, is separately being investigated by the justice department for possible child abuse violations over the same episode.
He could be jailed for six years if he is convicted.
Information taken from http://news.ph.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4815205