Filipinos are up in arms because of the last Sunday’s episode of “Desperate Housewives”. An email has been forwarded throughout the Filipino community written by Kevin Nadal, calling out the writers responsible for the disparaging remarks. Teri Hatcher’s character, Susan, was told by her gynecologist that she might be hitting menopause. Susan responded by saying, “Can I just check those diplomas because I just want to make sure that they are not from some med school in the Philippines.”
I’m normally not one to be easily offended by such rousings, but this one remark takes slight at the hardworking immigrants and men and women in the Philippines who consistently strive and work hard in whatever they do. This takes aim at the thousands of smart, industrious Filipinos, who study to achieve better positions here in the United States. I touched upon this in a previous entry a few months ago, in a blog entry about Opportunity vs. Nationalism. The writers, in one slight to seem witty and comedic at the expense of hardworking men and women, demean the efforts of a country and it’s people and purvey a notion that the Filipino medical industry that is second rate.
This is far from the truth, when you see the number of Filipino doctors and nurses in the medical industry. You might want to watch yourself, Terri Hatcher. The next time you need medical attention, the hardworking nurse or doctor in front of you will most likely be Filipino.
The original email written by a Kevin Nadal, after the jump.
Dear Kapisanan & Allies;
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 abc.com, you can watch the full episode and witness the scene at about 18:50 minutes into the
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 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 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/
And please feel free to forward this widely to other Filipinos/ Filipino Americans/ Asian Americans/ and other allies.
Filipino Performance Artist/ Activist