After two apologies from fashion company Bench, young actor Coco Martin extended a hand of friendship to Gabriela women’s group for his participation in a fashion show that the group deemed offensive to women.
Martin met with Gabriela on Monday, October 6, more than two weeks after the controversial Bench underwear fashion show dubbed “The Naked Truth.”
Bench was criticized in social media networks for featuring Martin walking the runway with a woman who was on a leash, walking on all fours.
The retail giant earlier apologized to those who found the act offensive and demeaning, with founder Ben Chan explaining that Martin was playing the role of a ringmaster while the female model was acting as a lion.
In its statement, Gabriela said the actor “personally apologized for not being discerning enough in his particular role in the show.”
Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Emmie de Jesus explained that the group never criticized the actor for what happened.
“However, we welcome his apology and his humility in accepting his part, albeit minor, in this incident,” she said.
Gabriela also took the opportunity to ask Martin to join its advocacy against violence against women.
De Jesus said that Martin agreed to attend the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) on November 25.
The group said artists should express their disagreement if they feel they are being asked to do acts that are demeaning to women.
“Being popular and idolized by the public, you must also be aware of your social responsibility not only in words but also in deed,” Gabriela Secretary General Joms Salvador said.