Veteran actor/host/comedian Joey de Leon was criticized by many public and private individuals for his insensitive and dismissive comments regarding depression.
The 70-year-old host of “Eat Bulaga” – the longest-running noontime show in the country – shared his controversial opinions about depression during the show’s “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment on Thursday, October 5, 2017.
The seasoned comedian’s comments were prompted by a "Sugod Bahay" winner who stated that her mother was diagnosed with depression.
Joey, seemingly out of ignorance, said, “Yung depression, gawa-gawa lang ng mga tao 'yan. Gawa lang nila sa sarili nila.”
Maine Mendoza then corrected him by saying, "Hindi siya joke. Kasi maraming nakakaranas nun, lalo na sa mga kabataan. Kaya dapat, kung mayroong nakakaranas ng ganun, bigyan natin ng suporta."
Maine’s point was seconded by her onscreen partner Alden Richards.
However, Joey would not relent and said, “Hindi, huwag niyo suportahan, gawa-gawa lang niya yun. Wala, nagpapasosyal lang. Kapag mayaman, depression. Kapag mahirap, wala, wala kang pag-asa sa buhay."
Joey remarks earned the ire of netizens and fellow celebrities alike.
Former “Eat bulaga” co-host Iza Calzado issued a statement regarding the issue. She said, “Mental health issues and depression should not be taken lightly or made fun of. Just because it is not your reality does not mean it is not real for others.”
“I grew up with this very painful reality having to watch my mother deal with her manic depression or whatever term they labeled her with at that time and I tell you that it is no joke. It is tough, not only for those going through it, but also for the people around them."
Former President Joseph Estrada’s son, Jake Ejercito, also stated his view about the issue and tweeted, “Jokes might help people suffering from depression, but their situation surely isn’t one. I went through it too and it’s as real as it gets.”
Anne Curtis’ sister, Jasmine, was also one of the celebs who issued a statement addressing Joey de Leon’s comments. She wrote, “Don’t talk about mental health if you don’t know jack about it. Support. Love. Care. Don’t ignore. Embrace and guide.”
Bb. Pilipinas International 2017, Mariel de Leon, expressed dismay about what the veteran host said. She stated, “Depression isn’t a joke. Same last name, but thank God we’re not related. Ew. Shame on him and people who think like him.”
She then posted another tweet saying, “Close to 800k people die every year due to suicide. If you aren’t angry about what he said, what kind of human are you? Where is your heart?”
On the other hand, Bela Padilla was criticized for seemingly taking Joey de Leon’s side instead of criticizing him. Ironic, considering she recently wrote a movie that tackled suicide and depression titled “Last Night.”
Kapamilya actor/singer Khalil Ramos also expressed his sentiments and tweeted, “Depression is no joke. Depression is real. Awareness is what we need to end potentially dangerous remarks and comments about it.”
Jodi Sta. Maria said, “Just because you haven't experienced it doesn't mean it is not real. Never ever mock a pain you haven't endured.”
While the others were busy criticizing Joey de Leon, Bianca Gonzales tweeted, “On a positive note: Mukhang ito na ang panahon that mental health issues get the attention and the awareness campaign that it needs here.”
IC Mendoza said he became more of a fan of Maine as he was impressed by the actress/host taking a stand. Here’s an excerpt of what IC said: “She stood her ground against those narrow minds that opt to trivialize serious topics that they don’t understand, all for the sake of delivering a shitty punchline.”
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