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Celebs react to MTRCB’s push to assign ratings to Netflix shows, movies

MTRCB may have just made more enemies than friends as they continue to assert their jurisdiction over movies and programs shown on streaming platforms

It looks like the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) really did open up a can of worms with their latest gaffe as they pushed for control on online streaming sites like Netflix, iflix, iWant TFC, and the like.

Outside of regular netizens firing insults at the MTRCB, celebrities, journalists, lawyers, and even politicians have made it clear: streaming platforms aren’t covered (and cannot be covered) by the board.

Even Sen. Grace Poe, who served as MTRCB chairperson from 2010 to 2012, called the proposal counterproductive, ridiculous, and unrealistic. “As it is, there isn’t enough manpower or even resources to view or evaluate every single program on cable.”

She also reminded the MTRCB that while the censor board’s main role is to classify, “in its mandate, at some point, it should give way to self-regulation.”

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano also chimed in, saying “this is the kind of bureaucratic thinking that gives government workers a bad name.”

This is the kind of bureaucratic thinking that gives government workers a bad name. Ang dami na ngang problema ng mga…

Posted by Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday, September 3, 2020

A media law professor has also called out the censor board, saying it has no jurisdiction over video streaming applications because they are computer programs. “The MTRCB has no jurisdiction over video streaming apps because computer programs are property and courts have jurisdiction over that,” said lawyer Marichu Lambino from the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

One netizen also sought to remind everyone who made the MTRCB happen and what it was ultimately meant for.

Since the backlash, current MTRCB chair Rachel Arenas has said its aim was “not to curtail our freedom, but it’s really to empower our viewers, especially now.”

“Alam naman natin na mahirap i-review ang mga materials na iyan so we really encourage self-regulation. But we will do post-monitoring,” she added.

Netflix has yet to comment on the matter, saying it is still “waiting on further developments”, though it did note that the app has features to ensure all subscribers have control over what content can be accessed through the platform.

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