‘Bourne’ Director Blasted For Degrading Comment On Manila

Boy Abunda has taken offense at "The Bourne Legacy" director-scriptwriter Tony Gilroy's comments that Manila is "ugly" and "stinky."

The popular talent manager and news anchor fumed on "Bandila" Wednesday calling Gilroy, "walanghiya."

"After the welcome they got in this country... when interviewed by the BBC you say 'I went to Manila because it stinks'? Unfair 'yan," Abunda ranted.

"Ito'y personal na opinion ko lamang. I don't like to be told that you come to my place because it stinks," he added.

It was co-anchor Karen Davila who relayed Gilroy's statement.

"'Yung direktor ng 'Bourne Legacy' in-interview sa BBC. Naging kontrobersyal ito dahil ang sagot niya sa [tanong na] 'Why Manila?' [Ang sabi] 'Because it's stinky and ugly.' Hindi ko pa napanood pero 'yun yung soundbite ng director. Naging viral ito," she said.

Davila added that she found the statement "factual."

But it wasn't from an interview with the BBC. It was from Gilroy's recent interview with Charlie Rose on Bloomberg TV's "Tonight."

Gilroy apparently made the comment in response to a question fielded to him by Rose asking why he thinks Manila fulfilled what he needed to make "The Bourne Legacy."

"We didn't want to go to Europe. 'Bourne' had gone to Europe. We thought about Latin America, Southeast Asia, [but] there are [already] several films that were planning on going to Latin America. We went to Jakarta [Indonesia], we went to Ho Chi Min City [Vietnam], and we went to Manila and it felt so 'Bourne'-ish. It's just so colorful and ugly and gritty and raw and stinky and crowded," he said.

But Gilroy praised the local film industry in the same interview.

"They had a great film industry there for years built off the Vietnam films," said he. "And they wanted us. You know, they really wanted us.

They knew what we're asking for, and they could get it for us. I can't imagine that we would have done the wacky stuff that we did [in the movie] any place else."

Many Pinoy netizens cried foul over Gilroys comment even as they criticized the film for supposedly showing too much of the country's poverty.

But actor John Arcilla, who plays a security guard in the latest installment of the "Bourne" series, defended the Hollywood movie insisting that both the "good" and the "bad" were balanced out in the film's final cut.

"Marami raw naiinis sa 'Bourne Legacy' dahil pangit ang mga pinakitang lugar sa Manila. Well, I found the aerial and top views of nighttime Manila [as shown on the film] amazing and [there were also] picturesque shots of Manila," he wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday.

Arcilla also noted that the movie's ending shot of El Nido, Palawan "so vindicating" that "in spite of all the odds they found a paradise" in the Philippines.

He expressed wonder as to why some Pinoys worry so much about a film showing the reality of its surroundings.

"(Whether we like it or not) there is this big part in Manila that really belongs to the depressed area," he posted. "Remember that even New York City has its Ghetto."

He went on to urge Filipinos to simply do their part in solving the country's poverty problem.

"I think that this should also serve as a wake up call for our public servants and to all of us, to solve or do something about this reality if we are so uneasy about it, rather than trying to hide something that is so real," he said.

Arcilla's post has since gone viral earning more than 4,400 likes and more than 770 shares as of Wednesday.

Earlier Crowley explained to media why they had to feature the country's slum areas.

"In every 'Bourne' movie, our characters have to hide somewhere in the poor parts because it's easier to hide there, they don't ask questions. It's from the story point of view. We did the same thing in Moscow,"' said he.

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