A Filipino senator faced online ridicule after he suggested imposing a ban on K-dramas in the Philippines.
Senator Jose Pimentel Ejercito Jr., who is better known as Jinggoy Estrada, gave his suggestion during the budget hearing of the Film Development Council of the Philippines on Tuesday.
“My observation is that when we continue showing Korean telenovelas, what Filipinos idolize are these Koreans and our Filipino artists lose jobs and income,” Estrada, a son of deposed Philippine president Joseph Estrada, reportedly said. “So sometimes it enters my mind to ban these telenovelas of foreigners and that our Filipino artists who have talent in acting should be the ones to be shown in our country.”
It did not take long before “Jinggoy,” his nickname, became a trending topic on Twitter as social media users heavily weighed in on his comments.
“Banning the ‘competition’?! Such a short-sighted & lazy response! how about boosting the local entertainment industry instead so that we produce more high-quality content?” a Twitter user wrote.
“We can promote QUALITY FILMS/TELENOVELAS without banning other countries brilliant masterpieces, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada,” another user wrote. “It would be much better if our government could support the film industry and actors to make a difference.”
“I’m for ‘Let’s promote Filipino projects’ but banning KDramas will not solve the film industry’s problem,” wrote another on Twitter. “If he sincerely wants to help the Film industry, craft laws that will support the industry. Government support is what they need and that’s what Korea is doing.”
“My statement stems from the frustration that while we are only too eager and willing to celebrate South Korea’s entertainment industry, we have sadly allowed our own to deteriorate because of the lack of support from the movie going public,” Estrada said. “I wish that the zealousness of our kababayans [compatriots] in patronizing foreign artists can be replicated to support our homegrown talents who I strongly believe are likewise world-class.”
He went on to say that he has nothing against the success of the South Korean entertainment industry and acknowledged that there is much to learn from its globally recognized stars.
The senator then urged Filipinos to both remember and pay attention to the work of local talents.
“South Korea’s phenomenal success is rooted in their love of country. It is high time that we follow their example and do the same for our own entertainment industry that is at best, barely surviving,” he said.