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Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Should We Do Desperate Moves About the Supposed “Desperate Housewives” Slur on RP's Med Schools?
Should We Do Desperate Moves About the Supposed “Desperate Housewives” Slur on RP's Med Schools? PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 02 October 2007 07:32

There is now an online frantic but bordering on a reckless response to an alleged racial slur against the Filipino people in a recent episode of an American TV show.

 

Kevin Nadal, a Filipino performance artist and an activist (knadal@gmail.com) has sent the following e-mail about the supposed racial slur made by the script writer and cast of the television series, "Desperate Housewives."

A Filipino-American physician called also this writer yesterday and informed him of the supposed "insult" to his peers by the "Desperate Housewives" TV show. I said that I would check on it. This physician called me, as he recalled that I led the campaign against the NBC network in March 2004 after its program, Prime Suspect, called the suspected killer of a Manhattan Beach police officer, Martin Ganz, as "Asian, possibly Filipino." Our coalition then succeeded in persuading the NBC to delete the offensive phrase in the rebroadcast of the "Prime Suspect" episode.

Here is Mr. Nadal’s e-mail: QUOTE. I heard through the grapevine about a remark made on an episode of "Desperate Housewives" last night. The scene entailed Teri Hatcher's character (Susan) at a hospital, being told by her gynecologist that she might be hitting menopause. Susan replied, "Can I just check those diplomas because I just want to make sure that they are not from some med school in the Philippines?" If you go to www.abc.com, you watch the full episode and witness the scene at about 18:50 minutes into the episode.

This type of derogatory remark is not only unnecessary and hurtful, but is also unfounded, considering the presence of Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the health care industry. Filipinos are the second largest (Asian) immigrant population in the United States, with many entering the U.S. and passing their U.S. licensing boards as doctors, nurses, and medical technicians. In fact, the Philippines produces more U.S. nurses than any other country in the world. So, to belittle the education, experience, or value of Filipino Americans in health care is disrespectful and plain and simply ignorant.

As Filipinos and Filipino Americans, we need to band together to ensure that this type of hateful message is not allowed to continue on our television and radio airwaves. Given the recent amounts of media attention that has been given to Michael Richards (against African Americans), Isaiah Washington (against gays), and Rosie O'Donnell (against Asian/Chinese Americans), it is ridiculous that this type of hateful speech made it through various screenwriters, the show's producers, the show's actors, and ABC itself.

Yet, this isn't the first time that negative remarks have been made about the Philippines or Filipinos in the past. In recent years, we've heard one too many "dogeater" comments by "comedian" Joan Rivers on the red carpet or in her standup act, and I believe that it is about time that we stand up for ourselves, so that this type of hateful speech never happens again.

Please join me in expressing your concern, disappointment, and/or disgust to the producers of ABC.com. You can sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/FilABC/ or you can reach them directly at abc7@abc.com.

And please feel free to forward this widely to other Filipinos/Filipino Americans/ Asian Americans/ and other allies. UNQUOTE.

Let us check the episode and continue the discussion in Part Two of this series of articles.

(To be continued . . .)



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2007 12:09
 

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