Filipino rapper Erich Bongon, also known as Young Vito, and his label Viva Records are currently under fire for releasing a studio recording of a song that contained transphobic lyrics.
Bongon was already criticized for the song, “Awit,” back in December 2019 after he shared a clip of him singing it on Twitter. “May nakilala ako sa bar kagabi / ang ganda niya pero parang may mali / noong dumikit mayroon akong napansin / napakalupit awit may lawit,” the lyrics went.
Due to public backlash, he took the video down and issued an apology.
“My recent video drew a lot of attention recently for both the right and wrong reasons,” he said. “I want to apologize to anyone I have offended with my lyrics for the video. At the time, it seemed like a small thing to mention but I have recently found out how much my words can personally affect other people. For this, I am sorry.”
Despite this, the song premiered on YouTube and Spotify.
Many Filipino netizens called out the rapper and Viva Records for promoting the controversial song and have demanded its removal from the media streaming platforms it is currently on. Among them was transwoman influencer Gigi Esguerra who said on Twitter: “Remember the guy who made an entire song perpetuating stigma against trans women (that we exist only to deceive people)? Well he has a record label now + his transphobic song is now being monetized and I’m just in disbelief.”
“Nakakapagod naman lumaban para sa sarili namin [it’s so tiring to fight for ourselves],” she added.
Remember the guy who made an entire song perpetuating stigma against trans women (that we exist only to deceive people)?
Well he has a record label now + his transphobic song is now being monetized and I’m just in disbelief.
Nakakapagod naman lumaban para sa sarili namin. pic.twitter.com/BXKT7AlKM3
— Gigi on YouTube (@gigiesguerra) January 17, 2020
As of writing, the song is no longer on YouTube and Spotify.
Young Vito and his label have yet to issue a statement regarding this.
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