YouTube star and celebrity Alex Gonzaga trended again on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. When she turned 35 (an adult, mind you) on January 16, she had a bash that was attended by friends and family. One of the waiters at the catering service presented her a lighted birthday cake as her guests sang her Happy Birthday after which she blew the candle and touched the chocolate icing, smearing it right at the forehead of the waiter, who she and family members claimed was a close friend (a “suki” in fact).
The one who uploaded the video, Dani Barretto, a friend of Gonzaga apologized for uploading the video in an interview with TV Patrol on January 25 saying she did not intend to put her good friend in a bad light.
On January 19, Coconuts Manila wrote that social media was up in arms after the 12-second clip, taken from content creator Dani Barretto’s Instagram Stories, was reposted on several pages and quickly went viral.
“On my birthday, God taught me a hard and important lesson. Humility, kindness and better judgment. I am truly sorry, Kuya Allan,” she wrote online, addressing the server from the video. She also apologized to her family for causing them “pain and embarrassment.”
“To my family, I am sorry for causing you pain and embarrassment. I will rise from this a wiser and better person.”
After the backlash, numerous people who claimed to have worked with her said that the birthday cake incident was far from being an isolated case , citing personal anecdotes in which they were at the receiving end of her “rude” and “entitled” behavior. In short, naungkat sa baul ang mga past sins.
The video garnered millions of views with mixed reactions from netizens. Some defended the vlogger by saying it was just another prank (antics the actress is known for).
But this raised eyebrows among the public especially as they noticed the waiter’s uncomfortable reaction.
Netizens called the act “insensitive,” “humiliating,” and “rude.”
Content creator Janine Vela tweeted “Siguro mas-acceptable ito kung ka-close mo yung tao, pero dahil sa 'power dynamics' dito — Kuya as the server and Alex as the served — hindi niya magagawa yun. Service workers are our equals. It’s their job to serve, but it’s our job to give them the respect they deserve.”
On January 18, Kuya Allan released a letter (that Gabriela, a grassroots organization composed of Filipino women from marginalized sectors of society said was forced) where he mentioned that Alex went to his workplace to apologize for what she did. “Ok na po kami.” And this was followed by a public apology from Gonzaga.
The Philstar said because of the incident Gonzaga lost a lot of contracts. But it did not explain further.
Despite the prolonged bashing she went through, Gonzaga seems to have sustained her fame (or infamy?) and is still gaining followers and supporters.
Gonzaga’s Youtube channel, where she uploads her famous vlogs currently has 13.1 million subscribers.
Her last video before the cake issue had a total of 1.6 million views while her first video uploaded after the issue on January 22 has 2.8 million views as of writing.
Even her latest video has 633,270 just 2 days after it was uploaded.
Her Facebook page currently has 10 million followers, 12.2 million on Instagram, and 6.3 million on Twitter.
A researcher from OpinYon has observed that despite efforts to cancel Alex Gonzaga on social media, her followers are not decreasing because most of those that cancel Gonzaga are the ones who are already not following her.
But is this really what people want—rude and uncouth celebrities and influencers? This could indicate how low social media had taken our morality to.