Atom Araullo on Mike de Leon: ‘The kindest thing I can say about him is that he needs help, patience, and understanding as he wrestles with his personal demons.’
Atom Araullo has finally spoken up after "Citizen Jake" director Mike de Leon criticized him on social media. Last week, the director wrote that Atom disappointed him “not as an actor but as a person.”
In a lengthy Facebook post, Atom addressed the "hurtful remarks" made by the director saying, “Mike made deliberately hurtful remarks about my journalism, which, ironically, has nothing to do with my participation in the film. All I can say is that I have never made any claims about the quality of my output or my stature in the media industry. To do so would be futile and obscene. I just aim to do my best like everyone else, always acknowledging that one continues to learn and improve everyday. I’ll leave it to the public to appraise the value of my work, accumulated over a decade of being a journalist.”
Atom remarked that he was actually not surprised by the director's recent tirade.
"It was only the latest in a string of unprovoked, irrational, almost random tantrums that I had to endure during the making of this film, determined as I was to see it through. It had a profound effect on me, and to be honest, made it that much harder to perform my duties in the movie. Almost everyone who at one point worked on Citizen Jake knows this, and his voluminous texts and emails will bear it out."
Atom shared that he has always been understanding when it comes to Mike's behavior.
"When others found themselves in Mike’s crosshairs, I tried to be there to lend a sympathetic ear. Perhaps his woeful behavior continues because he is never held accountable. Mike is a deeply troubled person. The kindest thing I can say about him is that he needs help, patience, and understanding as he wrestles with his personal demons. But while he has certainly tested the limits of my endurance, I can rest easy knowing that I worked hard, behaved professionally, and did all to the best of my abilities at the time the film was made," he stated.
Nonetheless, Atom stated that he is thankful for the opportunity to be part of the movie.
"Mike’s contribution to Philippine cinema is unquestionable. I hope he remains productive after Citizen Jake, making more movies that will rouse our consciousness, make us uncomfortable, and spur debate. I am still grateful for the opportunity to have worked on this film, now that I close this chapter of my life," he stated.