Solon accepts ABS-CBN apology over ‘Soldier’s Heart’ issue

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2020 08:35 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2020 08:36 PM

Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun (left) holds a dialogue with ABS-CBN officials led by COO Cory Vidanes and Head of Entertainment Production Lauren Dyogi. Handout

MANILA—Agusan Del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun has accepted ABS-CBN's apology and recognized the immediate action the network has taken regarding the depiction of Butuan City in the teleserye "A Soldier's Heart."

Fortun, who called out the series for its portrayal of Butuan as a "hotbed of chaos," met on Friday with several officials of ABS-CBN, led by COO Cory Vidanes and Head of Entertainment Production Lauren Dyogi. 

Fortun, in a statement, said: "I sincerely appreciate the gracious gesture of ABS-CBN in immediately addressing our concern." 

He thanked ABS-CBN for quickly airing the appropriate disclaimer, and for removing in "A Soldier's Heart" the "production elements, scenes, and references that may be offensive to Butuan." 

He added that the executives and showrunners will be considering using fictional areas for "A Soldier's Heart" going forward when showing potentially sensitive content. 

Fortun also said that he remains supportive of the House measures for the renewal of the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN, which he co-authored. 

Gerald Anderson (pictured) leads the cast of 'A Soldier's Heart.'

The full statement, released by Fortun's office, reads: 

"I sincerely appreciate the gracious gesture of ABS-CBN in immediately addressing our concern. 

"It is my humble opinion that when a scene is particularly offensive to a specific place, people, group, religion or culture, the usual template disclaimer may not suffice. 

"I am grateful that they quickly aired the appropriate disclaimer."

"Executives of the network led by Ms. Cory Vidanes and Mr. Lauren Dyogi, informed me in our meeting this morning of the measures they have immediately taken aside from the specific disclaimer, including the removal of production elements, scenes, and references that may be offensive to Butuan.

"The ABS-CBN executives said they have considered creating fictional localities in their storyline for 'A Soldier's Heart' and other shows for physical settings with potentially sensitive content. 

"The solon further said he remains supportive of the House measures for the renewal of the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN Network. Fortun is a co-author of House Resolution 639 supporting the said renewal."

ABS-CBN has also released a new statement after apologizing for the depiction this past week. 

It reads: "There was a meeting today between Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun and ABS-CBN COO for broadcast Cory Vidanes with head of entertainment production Lauren Dyogi. 

"Both parties discussed and resolved the issues regarding scenes that mentioned Butuan City in the TV series 'A Soldier’s Heart.' 

"The ABS-CBN executives personally expressed their apologies to Fortun and reiterated that the program had no intention to put Butuan in a negative light. 

"Any reference to the city that they deemed offensive has been removed for exhibition in other platforms."
 
Fortun expressed his concerns after the airing of the pilot episode of "A Soldier's Heart," which showed IT expert Alex (Gerald Anderson) volunteering to aid the military. 

He lends his knowledge to track the online activities of a rebel group, following a terror attack in Butuan City. Alex, however, gets caught in an ambush by rebel forces within the area.