Gerald Butler’s new movie has sparked a national controversy in the Philippines

Gerald Butler’s new movie has sparked a national controversy in the Philippines

This content was published on Feb 21, 2023 – 07:21

Manila, Feb. 21 (EFE). – The American action movie “The Pilot” (The Airplane), starring Gerald Butler, sparked controversy in the Philippines due to the demands of several senators to ban it from being shown due to presenting a “negative image” from the film. nation.

The controversy stems from fictional scenes set on the island of the Jolo archipelago, in the southeastern Philippines, where the plane the protagonists are traveling in crashes and they find themselves in an area exclusively under the control of a rebel militia. Without a trace of the Philippine military or state institutions.

The Film Classification Commission (MTRCB), the body that regulates screening of films in the Philippines, said in a statement on Monday that it was “committed to banning” the film, but did not confirm the ban.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Robinhood Padilla clashed against American production during a Senate debate last week.

Padilla said, “The reputation of our motherland is at stake. It’s okay for us Filipinos to talk about our nation’s problems, but if other countries paint a bad image of the country, we shouldn’t allow it.”

In the tape, the senator asserted that “the Philippine army does not exist.”

Although the Philippine state controls most of the Jolo archipelago in the southeastern Philippines – about 530,000 people – this area still hosts camps for the Abu Sayyaf jihadist group and insurgents linked to the Islamic State, according to the US State Department. United States of America

For his part, Senator and former head of the National Police Pato Dela Rosa stated, along the same lines, that the image presented by the film could negatively affect international tourism.

Facing nationalist criticism from some politicians, the Directors Guild of the Philippines in a statement on Monday refused to censor the film, saying that “freedom of choice should be left to the public rather than being imposed by politicians.”

“If the state can tolerate free speech for trolls, hoaxes, and historical revision without worrying about its effect on the country’s prestige, then the state can do the same for a work that foreign journalists considered a ridiculous ‘B’ movie of entertainment rather than a reliable chronicle of the country’s affairs.”

The film, directed by Jean-François Rich and starring Gerald Butler, opened in the US on January 13, but a release date in the Philippines has yet to be set. EFE


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