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Joey de Leon’s 2017 ‘depression’ remark resurfaces amid recent controversy

Banter ensued among the hosts before Maine emphasized the seriousness of depression and the importance of providing support to those experiencing it.

In the wake of a perceived “suicide joke” made by Joey de Leon during a segment on ‘E.A.T.,’ netizens have resurfaced an earlier comment from the comedy host in 2017 concerning “depression.”

Recalling an episode of the ‘Juan for all, all for Juan’ segment on Eat Bulaga on October 5, 2017, where the E.A.T. hosts were present, Joey, along with fellow hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Alden Richards, and Maine Mendoza, visited a chosen ‘Dabarkads’ contestant who claimed to be dealing with depression.

During their conversation, Joey made a controversial statement, suggesting, “‘Yung depression, gawa-gawa lang ng mga tao ‘yan, gawa nila sa sarili nila.”

Banter ensued among the hosts before Maine emphasized the seriousness of depression and the importance of providing support to those experiencing it.

However, Joey interjected, stating, “Hindi, wag n’yong suportahan, gawa-gawa lang niya ‘yun.”

He went on to make a divisive remark, implying, “‘Pag mayaman depression, pag mahirap, wala nang pag-asa sa buhay. Ganon ‘yun eh.”

Joey faced significant backlash for his comments at the time, with former Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial calling for responsibility and sensitivity when discussing depression.

The following day, Joey issued a public apology, acknowledging his mistake and asking for forgiveness from Maine and anyone else who may have been hurt by his words.

“Dala ng gulo at tuksuhan natin, naging mababaw lang at magaan ang pagtanggap ng inyong lingkod sa salitang ‘yan. Hanggang nabanggit ko nga ‘yung ‘Wala, gawa-gawa lang ‘yan ng ibang tao.’ ‘Yun kasi ang paniniwala ko na ang stress saka depression, halos magkapantay lamang. Huwag n’yong asahan na alam ko ang lahat ng bagay sa mundo. Habang nabubuhay po tayo eh natututo tayo ng mga bagong mga bagay-bagay. Nagkamali po ako… Ako’y nanghihingi ng paumanhin sa mga napaitan sa mga nabanggit ko at humihingi ng inyong unawa,” Joey said during an episode of Eat Bulaga on October 6, 2017.

Fast forward to September 23, 2023, and Joey’s comment about “lubid” in response to a question about “items worn around the neck” has sparked controversy once again.

Some netizens believe that Joey has not learned from his past mistake and has once more made light of a sensitive issue.

Enzo Almario, a singer, was among those who criticized Joey’s recent remark, and other netizens expressed disappointment in his seemingly repeated insensitivity.

Pepsi Paloma, a young actress and dancer during the 1980s, died by hanging in 1985. Her death was initially ruled as a suicide, but many questions and suspicions persisted.

Netizens also called on Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chair Lala Sotto to take action regarding Joey’s comment.

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression and having thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1553 (Luzon-wide, landline toll-free), 0966-351-4518, 0917-899-8727, or 0917-899-USAP (for Globe/TM users), or 0908-639-2672 (for Smart users).

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