On May 23, creatives Direk Ted Boborol and Patrick Valencia and host Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Habijan addressed netizens’ reactions claiming Sparks Camp’s lack of diversity.
At the media event for Sparks Camp, which LionhearTV covered, Habijan highlighted how she calmly engaged with the netizens voicing their concerns.
“Ako nakipag-usap ako doon sa mga ilang nag-post, sa Twitter, to be exact, because on my end, I engage in a conversation, kasi sa ganoong paraan natututo tayo, napapakinggan natin sila, napapakinggan din nila kami. And we keep discussing it, kasi ang gusto naman talaga natin ay magkaroon tayo ng isang palabas representing us.”
She also pointed out how having a conversation between the audience and the showrunners helps the reality show grow and evolve.
“So kung hindi tayo magko-collaborate hindi magiging matagumpay itong palabas na nagfe-feature ng LGBTQIA+ people. Tayo rin lahat ang matatalo, kaya ‘yung conversation na ‘yun napakahalaga ‘yun, we welcome the comments, we welcome their perspectives, as we welcome it, we learn from them. Kaya ngayon, nakikita ko, nag-e-evolve at naggo-grow ‘yung Sparks Camp.”
She then defined diversity and how it reflects different facets of human beings.
“Ang unang reaction ay nakabatay sa physical looks, but we will always anchor diversity with different characteristics, kaya mayroon tayong tinatawag na intersectionality, at ‘yung intersectionality na ‘yun will always coincide with differents facets of a human being. Ito’y physical, ito’y social, ito’y character, ito’y kung paano siya nakikipag interact, educational background, the people na kinalakihan niya.”
As for the director, Boborol admitted that he felt hurt answering the criticisms by noting the diverse background the ten campers came from.
“Ako naman, na-hurt din ako on a personal level for our campers, kasi stereotype din ‘yung BGC Gays, Poblacion Twinks, parang I think that’s a stereotype, once you get to know them, they have unique, diverse, individual stories, so parang feeling ko– you’ve seen sa first episode, may Cordilleran kami na hindi tanggap ng tribe nila ‘yung sexuality niya, and ito lang ‘yung pinaka-come out niya sa community niya, mayroon kaming hindi pa lumalabas pero pansexual na NBSB.”
Valencia also noted how the creators and showrunners of the Sparks Camp listened to their audience.
“So parang dahil nga given na binago siya na Queer dating reality show. It means that we’re listening. Siyempre nakita namin ‘yung feedback. And kanina ko pa nga sinasabi na dahil first namin ‘tong ginagawa, patuloy kaming natututo kung ano ba ‘yung tama and acceptable.”
As for Sparks Camp, the Philippine’s First Queer Dating reality show under Boborol’s direction begins on May 24 via Black Sheep’s YouTube Channel.