Lea Salonga gets real about fans ‘disrespecting’ their idols’ boundaries


Filipino Broadway star Lea Salonga has spoken up on a viral video showing how she dealt with Filipino fans who visited her dressing room for a photo op after a show in New York City.

In a two-minute video uploaded by a netizen named Cristopher Retokelly Carpila on July 15, some Filipino fans were seen entering Lea’s dressing room to take photos with the theater icon after performing in the Broadway show Here Lies Love. 

“Who are you? I’m so sorry, I don’t know who you are,” Lea respectfully asked the Filipinos who introduced themselves as her fans. 

She engaged with them professionally despite being visibly upset, saying they weren’t allowed backstage for “security reasons” unless they were included on the guest list. 

“Unless you’re on the guest list, we cannot have you back here,” Lea was heard saying to her fans in the video.

She then instructed them to wait “by the door” where she would allow their requests.

“I’m sorry because if I will allow this now, then other people are gonna take advantage of this,” the actress added.

The fans claimed that they were connected with one of the show’s co-producers, former actress Giselle “G” Töngi, but Lea was firm in saying that they were not allowed in the area. 

While the Filipinos eventually obliged and left the dressing room area, they still lingered in the hallway where Lea made her way to the place meant for picture-taking.

The uploader of the video posted a statement on his Facebook account where he detailed his experience with the former Miss Saigon star. 

Christian insisted in his caption headlined with “bahala na po kayo humusga” that the Broadway actress should have just taken a photo with them as they were already inside her dressing room, despite not being on the guest list. 

“Para kay Ate LEA, if ever naman po na mali kami at wala sa guest list, the fact na andun na kami para lang magpapicture … pumila at nagbayad ng mahal para sa show, siguro naman po bilang kapwa PILIPINO at mga FANS eh mabigyan ng kahit konting RESPETO AT KAHIT HINDI NA YAKAPIN OR IBESO ay mapagbigyan na kahit sandaling Magpa PICTURE (mabilis lang naman yun),” the fan wrote.

Christian’s video made rounds on social media, eliciting reactions from netizens and local artists who defended Lea’s actions.

“Lea Salonga was not wrong to insist on respecting her personal space in this instance. These ‘fans’ are beyond entitled and rude. But my key takeaway here is there’s no one managing or securing their backstage area?” one netizen commented. 

Fellow theater performer Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante also voiced out her opinion, saying: “I feel like Filipino fans are some of the most entitled fans there are. Something about our culture makes fans believe that artists owe them and that they are beholden to them somehow.”

To which Lea replied with no filter, “That attitude of entitlement gets a FUCK THAT SHIT from me.”

The Voice Philippines coach addressed the issue in a thread of tweets, noting the importance of her boundaries as an artist.

“The money you pay for a theater/concert ticket does not mean all access. You pay for that performer’s art, and that’s where it stops,” Lea wrote. 

“I’m not the type to cuss people out, but I will protect my territory and my boundaries. If I lose fans as a result, so be it,” she added.

“I have boundaries. Do not cross them,” she said in another post, quote-tweeting a previous tweet about not trusting strangers, including fans. 

The Broadway star also interacted with a netizen who mentioned G Töngi in the replies section to ask if she personally knew the people who barged in on Lea.

“I checked in with G after this happened… she had no idea who they were,” Lea said, proving that the fans who claimed their connection with the former actress didn’t even know they exist.

The award-winning actress also shared a quote from the account @kulturemotivation, in her Instagram story on Monday, July 17. 

“Everybody loves you when you let everything slide. But as soon as you start checking things and creating boundaries, you become the most hated,” the quote read. 

Lea is part of the first-ever all-Filipino cast of Here Lies Love, a disco Broadway musical that depicts former first lady Imelda Marcos’ rise to power and subsequent downfall at the hands of the historic People Power Revolution.

She portrays the role of Aurora Aquino, the mother of the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino III.

Patricia Dela Roca
Patricia Dela Roca
Patricia Dela Roca is a content producer with nerdy tendencies. She tends to lose herself in writing, films, fictional novels, video games, and in her Kpop bias' eyes.