Hello Pappy scandal
The Hello Pappy scandal, alluding to the nickname of involved host Willie Revillame and the Hello Garci scandal, was a scandal surrounding an incident during the August 20, 2007 episode of the Filipino variety show Wowowee, broadcast by ABS-CBN. During the episode, a technical error occurred during the final jackpot round of the show's Wilyonaryo segment which raised allegations within the media that the segment was, or could be, rigged by the producers. The incident prompted an investigation by the country's Department of Trade and Industry, and was also the catalyst of an on-air feud between Revillame and Joey de Leon, a personality from the rival GMA Network.
During the episode, a contestant named Weng participated in the Wilyonaryo segment of the show. In the earlier rounds, she had won ₱37,000. For the jackpot portion of the game, out of the 12 "wheels" used in the game; she was randomly given a white-colored wheel. Weng now had to choose between two big prizes: the ₱100,000 that the host Willie Revillame was offering her, or whatever was inside the white wheel, which, according to the rules, could be a jackpot prize of ₱2,000,000 (US$45,000), a jackpot prize of ₱1,000,000 (US$22,500), a jackpot prize of ₱500,000 (US$11,250), a house and lot, or nothing at all (which would be signified by the numeral zero).
At first, she decided to go with what was inside the white wheel. However, after being prodded by the hosts to take the money instead, Weng decided to forgo the possible jackpot prize revealed in the white wheel and instead take home the ₱100,000 for this round, plus the ₱37,000 from the earlier round. After this, Willie pulled the dark film from the window embedded in the wheel to reveal what prize the contestant had lost by choosing to take home the ₱137,000. Pulling the dark film revealed the numeral zero. This meant that if she had chosen the white wheel instead, she would have gone home with only ₱37,000.
After the decision, Willie went on to reveal where the other prizes—the ₱2,000,000 cash prize, the ₱1,000,000 cash prize, the ₱500,000 cash prize, and the house and lot—were hidden. He said that the symbol for the ₱2,000,000 cash prize—the numeral "2"—was in the window of the violet wheel. He was handed the violet wheel, and he reached behind the wheel, supposedly to pull the dark film in order to reveal the numeral "2." However, when he pulled the film, the numeral "0" appeared instead. He appeared to fiddle with the back of the wheel and then he pulled out two films: one dark film (supposedly the "cover" film) and another film with the numeral "2" printed on it. As he held those two films in his hand, the numeral "0" was still visible in the window of the violet wheel.
Although ABS-CBN officials stated that this occurrence with the then-new game was a "mechanical glitch" and an honest mistake, controversy erupted as many critics asked whether the mistake was a sign that the show—or at least this portion of the show—could be or was rigged.
Reactions and criticisms
The scandal grew after Joey de Leon, one of the hosts of Eat Bulaga!, a rival variety show broadcast by GMA Network, began making comments about the incident - ending an edition of his Manila Bulletin entertainment column about the incident with the statement, "Teasing is not bad. Cheating is ... on TV."
On the August 29, 2007 episode of Wowowee, Willie Revillame emotionally addressed Joey de Leon and insisted that he had not been cheating. Joey retaliated Willie's statement the following day in a 15-minute long monologue on Eat Bulaga! by advising his rival to "explain before you complain"; not mentioning Willie or Wowowee directly at all during the speech, but clearly directing the speech at him. He also accused Willie of resorting to personal attacks in order to dodge questions about the incident. Joey also clarified in the address that he was not directly accusing Willie or the Wowowee staff of cheating; noting that the only information he got about the incident was through video postings on YouTube and text messages he had received about the incident.
On August 30, 2007, Senator Mar Roxas, chair of the Senate trade and commerce committee, announced that he would propose an inquiry into this alleged game rigging after getting information from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and concerned parties. Joey had jokingly called upon lawmakers to stop probing the Hello Garci scandal, and to start probing the "Hello Pappy" scandal during his speech the previous day. The game was also later discontinued from the show.
The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board also became increasingly concerned about the scandal due to the escalating on-air feuds between Willie and Joey—asking Willie to make an on-air apology about his remarks towards Joey on the September 4 episode of Wowowee.
Explanation by ABS-CBN
In response to the incident, network Vice President Bong Osorio stated that a fixed "design flaw" was the cause of the incident, further remarking that "[we] have no intention to manipulate results, but rather to add excitement and suspense." Osorio also stated that a game shows can experience "glitches" during development, and re-enforced that all game shows broadcast by the network were operated in accordance with ABS-CBN's corporate values of honesty and integrity.
DTI probe, administrative fine and appeal
On October 13, 2008, the DTI ordered ABS-CBN to pay an administrative fine of ₱290,000, ruling that the Wilyonaryo segment violated the Consumers Act of the Philippines, ruling that “A reasonable assessment of the existing game mechanics and procedures reveals that the game show segment allowed for reasonable likelihood of error and provided the host and organizers significant latitude in controlling the outcome of the contest.” ABS-CBN later released a statement that they would file an appeal on the decision.
- "Roxas seeks probe on 'Hello, Pappy' game show 'scam'". GMA News and Current Affairs. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
- Bonifacio, Julie (August 26, 2007). ""Wowowee" controversy is an "honest mistake" -- ABS-CBN executive" (in Tagalog). PEP.ph. Retrieved 2009-04-10. "ng contestant na nagngangalang Weng", "a contestant named Weng"
- "ABS-CBN: No cheating in Wowowee's 'Wilyonaryo'". GMA News and Current Affairs. August 30, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
- "Joey: It's impossible to live without a heart" (in Tagalog). GMA News and Current Affairs. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-13. "Regular columnist ng Manila Bulletin si Joey at nang mabasa namin kaninang umaga ang kanyang column na 'De Leon's Den...' (Joey de Leon is a regular columnist of Manila Bulletin and when we read his latest article on 'De Leon's Den...')"... "Kaya, walang pikunan. Paliwanagan lang. Biruan lang. Teasing is not bad. Cheating is... on TV! (So there's no need to be touchy. It's all just about explaining and poking fun on the issue. Teasing is not bad. Cheating is... on TV!)"
- "Joey tells Willie: Explain before you Complain". GMA News and Public Affairs. August 30, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- "DTI wraps up Wowowee probe". GMA News and Current Affairs. October 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
- Ancheta, Michael (September 9, 2007). "Joey de Leon to Willie Revillame: "Sorry, hindi ko matatanggap ang sorry mo."" (in English/Tagalog). PEP.ph. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Lim, Candice (August 30, 2007). "ABS-CBN explains Hello Pappy incident as a design flaw". PEP.ph. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
- "DTI: Wowowee’s Wilyonaryo has violation". SunStar Network. October 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
- "PEP: ABS-CBN appeals DTI's Wowowee decision". GMA News and Current Affairs. October 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
- PhilSports Stadium stampede, a previous incident caused by an episode of Wowowee