MTRCB bans Private Convos with Doc Rica

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A television program featuring a sex therapist who discusses various issues of an intimate nature has been banned by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

The program, Private Convos with Doc Rica, hosted by Rica Cruz, PhD, was banned “for airing a program that purely appeals to ‘prurient interest’ and for failure to adhere to the MTRCB Rating guidelines,” according to an MTRCB statement released on Jan. 30, explaining a ruling made on Jan. 24.

“In the exercise of its regulatory powers, the MTRCB hereby prohibits the television program Private Convos with Doc Rica from exportation, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition, and/or television broadcast in all media platforms within the jurisdiction of the MTRCB, commencing from the finality of this decision,” says the Board ruling.

Aside from Private Convos, Rica Cruz, PhD, who is described on her X (formerly Twitter) channel as a sexologist and sex researcher, is also the founder of the blog and sex therapy app Unprude and the Conservative Ako podcast.

Among the program’s guests have been singer/host Ice Seguerra, social media personality Macoy Dubs, actress Krista Miller, model Cat Alano, and pastor Cris Torres Lomotan.

The MTRCB’s Monitoring and Inspection Unit submitted an Incident Report on Aug. 24, 2023, “that highlighted episodes that featured discussions on sexual experiences and fantasies, including the use of inappropriate language.” In particular, the report concerned the episode on Sept. 6 where there was a discussion on sexual awakening, “during which explicit terms such as ‘self-masturbation, anal sex, and oral sex’ were used in the conversation.” The report also noted that there had been numerous complaints from parents about the program.

“After a thorough examination of the case, including a comprehensive analysis of the position papers submitted by the Respondents, the Board determined that the respondent Private Convos with Doc Rica television program format involved detailed discussions of guests’ sexual awakenings, leading to explicit narrations of intimate experiences, and employed language deemed unsuitable for broadcasting,” the MTRCB said.

The MTRCB disagreed “that the program, in totality, is imbued with ‘educational and social value,’” as asserted by the respondents.

The Board also raised concerns over the appropriateness of the medium and time slot chosen for dissemination, considering the content of the episodes.

The Board pointed out that the timeslot that the program airs in is within “Child-Viewing Hours,” although the episodes that were the subject of the complaints had been used as “filler in the afternoon time slot,” said the respondents. The show normally airs on Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m., on OneNews.

“With the freedom to broadcast content comes a responsibility. We implore broadcasters and content providers to be circumspect and responsible in their creative processes, acknowledging the profound influence that on-screen content holds,” MTRCB Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Lala Sotto, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Private Convos with Doc Rica premiered on May 2023. It can also be viewed on YouTube.