Entertainment reporter Jobert Sucaldito is earning brickbats online after joking that actress Nadine Lustre should have jumped from a building.
The controversy took off after a Twitter user named @kooridenka posted an audio clip of Sucaldito talking about Lustre on his DZMM radio program Showbuzz last night, leaping to the defense of fellow gossip reporter Ricky Lo. Lo recently found himself on the receiving end of the Lustre’s ire after he published a story claiming — incorrectly, according to the actress — that she had split up with her boyfriend James Reid.
“We are not the ones behind all this. We don’t know anything about the lives of your idols. They’re the ones who created all these stories that we reported…Isn’t that what they want?” Sucaldito said, defending Lo’s coverage of Lustre.
“There was even this [picture of Lustre] showing off her butt wearing a G-string while she’s standing in a building. There was even this caption saying as if she wanted to jump. I hope she just jumped.”
(Sucaldito may have been referring to a photo posted by Lustre to Instagram showing a woman, whose face isn’t visible, standing on a balcony in a barely-there bikini alongside a caption that read, simply, “I can’t be who you want.”)
Further compounding the insensitivity of Sucaldito’s “I hope she just jumped” remark is the fact that Lustre has mentioned struggling with depression following the suicide of her brother. In fact, the claim that Lustre’s boyfriend was “trying to cushion the impact” of the breakup in recognition of her mental state was one of the things the actress publicly took issue with in Lo’s offending report.
But Sucaldito doubled down on his attack on Lustre today, posting a statement on Facebook calling her “pathetic,” and saying she didn’t have the right to attack Lo, “who has gained the country’s respect” — and who is also a close personal friend, he noted.
“Piece of advice Nadine, why don’t you Google Ricky Lo’s name to see what type of journalist he is. He’s not one of those who was just picked off the streets to write for a newspaper — he is the most respected among our ranks,” he said in a long-winded rant.
“Maybe you don’t know it, girl, but mind you — you did a great insult on his person as a journalist. You feel that you’re so above him or many of us — you cannot belittle him. Everything that Ricko Lo wrote about you, even the mental illness angle, were researched. That came from you. That wasn’t made up.”
“You’re correct, mental illness is a serious matter but who was it who said it or insinuated it, wasn’t it you? That’s why we think MR. RICKY LO DESERVES AN APOLOGY FROM YOU. It’s never too late, that’s what we think. If you can be rude to someone like RICKY LO, you can do that to any [one] of us.”
Sucaldito, in a full-on faux-wounded fury, then went on to accuse Lustre of perpetuating the false report that she and boyfriend Reid had called it quits in order to drum up interest in their loveteam after she allegedly left Viva Artists’ Agency, which used to manage her.
“You’re the one who created that… You just created noise so people could talk about your loveteam because you have left Viva to join James Reid’s Careless Management put up by James’ dad,” he continued. “There’s nothing wrong with that if you wanted to do that so people would talk about you. The biggest mistake we made, however, was to report about [the breakup] thinking that there was indeed something wrong happening in your relationship. It turns out, YOU JUST TOOK US FOR A RIDE!”
Having a toxic, insensitive and entitled journalist like Jobert Sucaldito is such a shame. U insulted someone (Nadine) because of her mental illness and told her to jump off the building. Srsly, ang bobo mo. U just encouraged somone to commit suicide++#SuicideIsNotAJokeJobert pic.twitter.com/GPVUtGPbbG
— DK (@dklustre) January 7, 2020
Sucaldito’s reaction was not entirely surprising, given the level of deference many Filipino entertainment reporters demand from the young stars they cover. Stars who don’t fall in line run the risk of being subjected to vicious coverage that can damage their careers.
But Sucaldito’s screed appears to have done little to shift public opinion to his cause, with netizens turning against the radio personality in droves. The hashtag #SuicideIsNotAJokeJobert was even trending on Twitter today.
One Lustre fan, using the Twitter handle @dklustre, wrote, “Having a toxic, insensitive and entitled journalist like Jobert Sucaldito is such a shame. U insulted someone (Nadine) because of her mental illness and told her to jump off the building. Srsly, you’re so stupid. U just encouraged somone [sic] to commit suicide++.”
The reactions on Sucaldito’s Facebook post were similarly fuming, with many of them calling the reporter an “idiot.”