The Gist


Throughout the years, female actresses in the Philippines have been the subject of public gossip and ridicule due to pointless entertainment. But not anymore, as we see more and more young actresses giving us new levels of idols to stan.

/ 1 October 2020

Gone are the days when women would quietly endure the taunts and baseless rumors thrown at them by the general public, especially to the sparkling celebrities who are the number one target of unsolicited opinions and so-called “harmless” social media harassment. At the forefront of this movement are some of the most beloved and celebrated actresses in recent years with millions-worth of projects under their name, and countless adoring fans always ready to support and protect them.

However, times have changed–for the better. There have been numerous recent instances where these celebrities would fight back and speak up against mistreatment and disrespectful antics within the industry, and from haters online. Several examples would be Nadine Lustre calling out veteran, tabloid journalists who blatantly used mental health and suicide as a joke, Kathryn Bernardo light-heartedly telling her haters to “kiss her f-ing legs” on her YouTube channel, and Maine Mendoza calling out her own “fans” for launching a Twitter campaign against her boyfriend–as if her choice of who to be with is of public domain.

Just recently, we also have personalities like Liza Soberano and Julia Barretto who both filed legal cases against online harassers to set an example for anyone who hides behind the computer screen to spread negativity. Soberano took this action as a response to a netizen who made rape comments against her and shared private information online, while Barretto filed a complaint against a former broadcaster who spread rumors on social media about her alleged pregnancy, which turned out to be false.

As most of these actresses have been in the entertainment industry since they were mere teenagers, and have no doubt been faced with similar, or worse, abusive acts from the public, it’s a massive step for each of them to even speak out about their experiences. Especially since doing so usually results to even more attention from gossip-mongers and online trolls.

The likes of Soberano, Barretto, Lustre, Bernardo, and Mendoza are beautiful examples of modern women who are no longer sitting in silence as the world continues to target, sexualize, and ridicule them. Moreover, the fact that these are five of the current biggest young stars in Philippine media and entertainment, with comparably the largest social media following among their peers, propels the movement even further as it is brought to even more people’s attention.

All of these women also have diverse fanbases that span from little girls to grown adults, and it’s very important that they have role models like them who stand for respect, empathy, and fighting for what is right. Not just for young girls and boys, but also for fully grown men and women to be aware of the consequences of their actions and how it affects each person’s mental and physical health.

Furthermore, Soberano and Barretto resulting to taking legal actions against their haters also opens a wider discussion on the seriousness of the matter, especially when it involves rape jokes and public defamation. At the very least, we’re hopeful that these actions will result to online trolls thinking twice before spewing hate and spreading fake news towards people who they don’t even know in real life.

Now more than ever, it’s important that we have key personalities speaking up on important issues in society, and it’s incredible that we have these young stars using their platforms to do just that. As more and more celebrities publicly condemn misogyny, rape culture, irresponsible journalism, and just general senseless hate, hopefully Filipino society will learn to grow out of these negative behaviors and mindsets. Eventually, the dream of having an inclusive, respectful, and socially-responsible Philippines might just turn into reality.