MTRCB statement on Willing Willie


Third Briefer on “Willing Willie”(Child Abuse Case)

At the preliminary conference hearing this afternoon on the complaint of a child abuse scene in the 12 March 2011 episode of “Willing Willie”, and upon being required by the Hearing and Adjudication Committee, Mr. Robert V. Barreiro, Executive Vice President and COO of Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC TV5), reported to the Committee regulatory measures undertaken by the network:

. * Imposed stricter guidelines on the appearance and performance of minors, particularly, children on all TV5 programs;

. * Required that all auditions of TV5 programs be supervised by representatives designated by the TV5 Ombudsman;

. * Appointed an internal Ombudsman to entertain complaints regarding offensive programs;

. * Imposed a moratorium on contests and game shows involving minors;

. * Created a Standards Advisory Board to be composed, among others, of a psychologist, a creative director, and a children’s communications expert;

. * Engaged the services of a team of psychologists to attend to Jan-Jan’s needs.

The Hearing and Adjudication Committee required the immediate submission of the Investigation Report of ABC TV5’s internal Ombudsman no later than Thursday, 07 April 2011, at the continuation of the preliminary conference hearing. MTRCB pointed out that ABC TV5 should be able to impose punitive sanctions on the program and its hosts, which can range from a reprimand to a cancellation of the TV program itself, in the spirit of self-regulation. Still, the sufficiency of any such sanctions shall be subject to final determination by the Hearing and Adjudication Committee, and the approval of the Chairman. This development notwithstanding, the MTRCB is determined to resolve expeditiously this case of paramount importance.