Clothing brand Bench has apologized Tuesday after segments of The Naked Truth Denim and Underwear Show drew criticism online.
Held at the Mall of Asia Arena last 20 September, the fashion show featured the country’s celebrities in revealing clothes and bawdy scenes that was allegedly degrading to women.
“We at Bench apologize to the public for all the offensive elements of the show, ‘The Naked Truth’. We will take all these concerns seriously and will serve as a lesson learned when we plan our next show. We at Bench shall continue to uphold the dignity of women and our commitment will remain so,” Bench said in a statement via Facebook.
The apology came just days after SM upset thousands online for selling printed t-shirts saying “It’s Not Rape, It’s A Snuggle With A Struggle.”
Filipinos were quite vocal about a segment involving actor Coco Martin pulling along a woman on a leash. Among them is the blog The Plump Pinay, which even rallied he readers with the hashtag #BOYCOTTBENCH.
Government officials also spoke their mind, with Bayan Muna Congressman Teddy Casiño saying that “Bench just crossed the line. Naked Truth is blatant, crass sexual commercialism.”
Former GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza joined the conversation, recalling Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women which says that there should be a “nondiscriminatory and non-derogatory portrayal of women in media and film.”
“Portrayals such as these show that corporations such as Bench and SM, earlier exposed to be selling a pro-rape t-shirt, continue to sell a sub-human image of women under the nose of the state, who should be the primary duty-bearer in ensuring that ‘the dignity of women’ is recognized,” she said.
The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) also expressed its disappointed, not just on how they portrayed women but also on how they have presented their male models.
“While staging a fashion show is part of the company’s marketing strategy to promote their brand, said act should never be tolerated especially if it dehumanizes and demeans the dignity of women, treating their bodies as mere sex objects and commodities.”
“PCW also condemns commodification of male bodies which were flaunted exaggeratedly during the show, making their series of acts akin to soft porn,” it adds.