Game show host Willie Revillame calls out Rappler for ‘hijack’ article

Willie Revillame in an episode of Wowowin. Screenshot from the show.
Willie Revillame in an episode of Wowowin. Screenshot from the show.

Wowowin‘s Willie Revillame yesterday called out Rappler after the controversial news website published a scathing article where it said that the game show host “hijacked” the press briefing of Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.

Revillame was offended by the Aug. 7 story “Willie Revillame hijacks Roque press briefing to promote charity, GMA7 show,” which was written by one of Rappler’s high-profile journalists, Pia Ranada. The story said that Revillame appeared to have “barged” into Roque’s presser to talk about his multi-million peso donation for jeepney drivers and promote his show.

Read: Q&A: Rappler reporter Pia Ranada talks about the day Duterte banned her from the Palace

Revillame clarified that Roque invited him to appear on the media briefing, which was held at Wil Tower, a condominium that he used to own. The briefing couldn’t be done at the Malacañang Palace press room because several employees had tested positive of COVID-19.

“At the start, on Monday [last week], Secretary Roque told me, ‘Willie, would you like to appear so that I could thank you [for allowing us to use Wil Tower?],'” Revillame said on his show in English and Filipino.

The host rejected Roque’s request, but the presidential spokesman asked him again if the former could appear in the briefing. Revillame then thought it would be a good opportunity to announce that he was donating PHP5 million (US$102,119) to jeepney drivers who have been displaced due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The host said that Roque had no idea that he was planning to announce the donation during the briefing.

Read: Comedy of Errors: Host Willie Revillame gets cursed at by contestant on-air

“It appeared as if I did something wrong, that I was trying to show off. I don’t understand why there are people who are like that,” he complained, referring to Ranada’s piece.

“Just to be clear, I was not showing off, I was not trying to make myself famous…When you say ‘hijack,’ you took someone hostage, you carried a firearm, and you hijacked [something]. It wasn’t written positively. It said I ‘hijacked’ that program. I was invited by the secretary and I accepted it because they were here,” he clarified.

Wowowin is known for giving away prizes to underprivileged Filipinos. Its concept borrows heavily from Revillame’s old show, Wowowee,  which was broadcast in the now-shuttered broadcast network ABS-CBN.

 

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