Actress Bela Padilla weighs in on Estrada’s comments suggesting a K-Drama ban - TrueID

Actress Bela Padilla weighs in on Estrada’s comments suggesting a K-Drama ban

Coconuts ManilaOctober 23, 2022

Actress and filmmaker Bela Padilla weighed in on Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s controversial take on K-Dramas.

The latter said he had considered banning “Korean telenovelas” to support the Filipino creative industry during a budget hearing for the Film Development Council of the Philippines — and unsurprisingly got slammed by many Filipinos online, many of whom are K-Drama fans.

Bela, who is shooting a movie in South Korea, took to Twitter to air out her thoughts. The actress said that Filipinos love K-Dramas because of their high production values and quality. On the other hand, many Filipinos in the film industry are underpaid for their efforts.

“Filipinos watch K-Dramas because [studios] spend on their shows’ production values. I’m currently in South Korea shooting a Filipino film and the difference of how they work is inspiring. I’m saddened as a filmmaker in the Philippines that we don’t get the same support, funding or help from our government. Even the production costs, working hours, talent fees of writers, directors and everybody involved in making a film is too far for us to even compare,” she wrote.

“I agree that if we level the playing field — and if filmmakers in the Philippines are given the same respect and support, we definitely could create world class content too. Sadly that isn’t the case. But to ban certain programs because they’re doing better than us is such a petty move. Be happy for others and learn from their success. Perhaps this is why we don’t progress, we pick on those who are happy and doing well. It’s embarrassing.”

While several people supported Bela’s sentiments, there were a few that argued the government shouldn’t be prioritizing filmmakers when other Filipinos needed urgent help — an argument that Bela refuted.

“What an argument. We literally have different government offices that all have allocated budgets to make sure that every sector in our country runs smoothly. If that’s how you think then I wish people didn’t turn to celebrities to help during disasters, since they can just all easily handle it anyway,” Bela responded.

“She literally said Dracarys,” one user wrote.

“You slayed that,” another said.

Bela’s remarks ring similarly to character actor Mon Confiado’s sentiments on the massive backing the South Korean government gives its filmmakers, which he posted in 2018 and resurfaced after Estrada’s statement.

The actor, who wrote the post while shooting a film in South Korea, said he envied Korean cinema and highlighted the ways the government helps its film industry, including the lending of soundstages in different provinces for free. He also mentioned that filmmaking skills are taught even to elementary school-age children, and that the government has invested a total of 380 billion won (US$264 million) as seed money for domestic films.

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