Media Missteps

Arnold Clavio is probably the most criticized person right now next to the Azkals or Corona. I watched the video on YouTube after I saw the fans fuming in their tweets. Well, I also saw the wittiest comments ever. I was honestly taken aback by everything. The way he said those remarks, not to mention the tone of his voice, sounded like he has a beef with the Philippine national football team. What do you have against our team, Mr. Clavio? A team who represents our country proudly and unwaveringly during every game? There was no hint of the neutrality expected of a respected journalist. I’m sure it could have been worse since he seemed like he was on a roll. Who would’ve thought that apart from the recent victory against Tajikistan, his remark would cause a national stir?

He eventually released this official statement:

Mga igan, nakakalungkot na may negatibong reaksyon ang naging pahayag ko tungkol sa Philippine Azkals kaugnay ng sexual harassment complaint ni Ms. Cristy Ramos. Wala po akong ganoong intensyon. Ang isyu po rito ay sexual harassment at kung may nagamit man po akong mga salita na hindi angkop, nagpapakumbaba po ako at humihingi ng pang-unawa. Dun naman po sa mga kasama kong nanindigan laban sa sexual harassment, maraming salamat po. Seryoso pong isyu ito na dapat bantayan.

My first reaction was, “Huh?” I reread the entire thing again and it was followed by another “Huh?” I was expecting an explanation for his disparaging remarks, but instead he focused on an entirely different issue which doesn’t involve him. I figured that it wasn’t a smart PR strategy, and if anything, it proved that he was guilty of committing a truly despicable gaffe. A sincere apology could have ended the whole thing; instead, his statement not only reignited the fans’ rage but also validated further criticisms from people beyond the Philippine football community.

Reaction across the Web is reaching a fever pitch and an online petition to sanction him is being passed around (Arnold Clavio – GMA Host: Sanction Arnold Clavio for his racist statement). The backlash against Mr. Clavio should be expected not only by Clavio himself, but by GMA and the media as a whole. These are figures and organizations people should be able to trust as humanity and societies continue the fight against prejudice, discrimination, and racism. That a news anchor or journalist made such remarks truly epitomizes a public display of disgracefulness and ignorance. In light of them, the public’s reaction does not surprise me one bit, and as a Filipino, I am proud that the public is acting the way they have. (For instance, recall the recent backlash against FHM Philippines for a cover distastefully depicting dark-skinned models.) I know most people are simply asking for a sincere apology or even just an expression of realization from Mr. Clavio. (Read the letter of the Philippine Football Federation)

Yes, there are many reasons for why people have been so angered and I could probably spend an entire day discussing them. But if all else fails, let us not forget: We can’t let our feelings blind us from being decent human beings. What’s next? Death threats? Hate mail? No, please don’t. Cyberbullying and similar tactics are just as repulsive and only discredit those who engage in them. I think we’ve all made our point and the team will forever appreciate how their fans stood up for them. Like a friend of mine said, “Win or lose, people will always have something to say about the team. Success is the best revenge!”

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6 thoughts on “Media Missteps

  1. Chris Greatwich tweeted about this and I totally agree with you. More hatin’ will never solve anything. Success indeed is the best revenge! 🙂

  2. Saw Chris Greatwich tweet this. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Insulting him will not get us anywhere though admittedly it makes me lose a little bit of steam. I guess what makes it hard for people, even me, to let the issue go is this lack of remorse and worse, awareness that a mistake was made. For a while I believed in that news organization and I’m truly disappointed.

    Sorry to have rambled on but this issue has actually made me rant a lot online which is a first. Off-topic, your pic was taken in sunken garden with the main lib at the background? 😀

  3. Thank you! Chris is actually one of the most intelligent and articulate footballers I’ve ever worked with. Anyway, it’s OK to express yourself. Of course, there are boundaries, but I don’t see anything wrong with sharing your opinions. Something was clearly amiss and the issue wasn’t handled well so people want to stand up and be heard.

    Yes, the photo was taken there. 🙂

  4. I agree with you Miji Gonzales the things you said is perfect for the Philippine Azkals. Success is the best revenge. Thanks for posting this kind of article. More power to your blog.

  5. Well said Miji, and success is definitely the best revenge. Philippine football is on a roll, the team has already over-achieved on this Challenge Cup tournament and as long as we stay the course, there are greater heights to be achieved in the future.

    Mr. Clavio’s and GMA Network’s response to the issue is very disheartening. They purposely evaded the point. There are two issues here, one is already being addressed in its proper forum already and the process is underway, but GMA and Mr. Clavio are refusing to acknowledge the separate and equally grave issue of the racist remarks uttered live on television.

  6. I think the network has an axe to grind against the Azkals as the rival network bagged exclusivity for the coverage and all.

    In the initial response , Mel Tiangco was seen commenting on the side after showing GMA 7’s reply to PFF’s Complaint. She commented “I love it!” – expressing her belief on national TV that GMA 7’s support to Arn Clavio is unequivocal. And making a point that PFF has no basis for the complaint. How arrogant! I was actually offended twice after seeing that segment …

    At the end of the day, afterall, it is everything to do with the money! (I might be wrong?!?)

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