Joey de Leon draws flak for depression remark; Maine Mendoza earns praise for rebuttal

    MANILA, Philippines – Actor and TV host Joey de Leon drew the ire of many after it made offensive remarks about depression as a mental illness. He called it “gawa-gawa lang” or made up and that there is a big difference between how the rich and poor experience it.

    De Leon’s remarks went viral and he even trended # 1 on Twitter Philippines on Thursday night. People are calling it callous and ignorant. Several shared their experiences on how depression destroyed their or their loved ones lives. On the other hand, many applauded the phenomenal star Maine Mendoza for taking a stand and clarifying that depression is “no joke.”

     Joey de Leon draws flak for depression remark; Maine Mendoza earns praise for rebuttal
    Joey de Leon (left) slammed for offensive remarks about depression, calling it “gawa-gawa lang.” Screengrab from Twitter video/ DryedMangoez‏.
    Eat Bulaga has always been known for its adlibs and “on the spot” kind of humor. But, everyone was pretty shocked at a joke called out by one if its hosts, Joey de Leon. In Eat Bulaga’s segment, “Juan for all, all for Juan’, the hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza had discovered that the contestant they were interviewing is suffering from depression.

    Maine commented, “Hindi biro ‘yun ah, ‘yung depression.” [Depression is not a joke]
    She added, “Hindi siya joke kasi maraming nakakaranas ng ganon, lalo na sa mga kabataan. Kaya dapat kapag may nakakaranas ng ganon, bigyan natin ng suporta.” [It's not a joke because many people are experiencing it, especially the youth. So, if someone is depressed, we should support them.]

    Joey de Leon, who was in the studio listening to the interview, interrupted them and said, “Hindi, huwag niyong suportahan, gawa-gawa lang niya ‘yun, pabayaan niyo…nagpapasosyal lang.” [No, don’t support her. She just made it up. Let her be, she’s trying to be posh.]

    But de Leon didn’t stop there, he also added, “Pag mayaman, depression. Pag mahirap, wala, wala ka nang pag-asa sa buhay.” [When you’re rich, it’s called depression. When you’re poor, you are viewed as having no hope in life.]

    Watch video of the incident here.

    As De Leon is currently in hot water, netizens shared their opinions and even experiences with depression. They had called out the veteran host for his remarks, calling him ignorant and insensitive. Some got so offended that they even went as low as mentioning the alleged rape case of Joey de Leon and the suicide of Pepsi Paloma during the 80’s.

    This isn’t the first time that Joey de Leon made controversial statements. Back in 2015, he and Sen. Tito Sotto have made it to international news such as the BBC. The two decided to dress up as Arabs in a halloween costume show where everyone was expected to wear something scary or outrageous.

    According to World Health Organization, clinical depression is a common mental health disorder. Statistics would show that a close to 300 million people all over the world are suffering from it. Depression prevents people from functioning productively and is also the leading cause of disability worldwide.

    UPDATE: Joey de Leon on Friday apologized for his comment on depression.

    "Nagkamali po ako. 
    "Dala ng gulo at tuksuhan natin, naging mababaw lang at magaan ang pagtanggap ko sa salitang 'yan. 
    "Hanggang nabanggit ko nga 'yung 'Wala, gawa-gawa lang 'yan ng ibang tao.' 'Yun kasi ang paniniwala ko na ang stress tsaka depression, halos magkapantay lamang. Huwag niyong 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. 
    "So, tungkol po sa depression na nabanggit ni Maine, eh pinagalitan ako ng misis ko, si Eileen. Pag-uwi ko pa po, pinaliwanag niya at pati 'yung mga anak namin, sinabi, 'Daddy, hindi stress 'yan at depression.' 'Hindi, 'yun ang alam ko eh. 'Yung iba 'pag nawalan lang ng boyfriend, nade-depress.' 
    "So nagga-ganu'n pa ako, pinaliwanag niya. Lalo akong nahiya sa sarili ko nang banggitin ni Eileen na may malalapit kaming mahal sa buhay na nagdurusa sa ganu'ng kalagayan. 
    "So ako'y nanghihingi ng paumanhin sa mga napaitan sa mga nabanggit ko at humihingi ng inyong unawa."

    -- Sally, The Summit Express
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