Online Petition Against Desperate Housewives For Joke On A Philippine Medical School

I first got wind of this through one of my officemates. It was some kind of online petition.

Apparently there was an episode in ABC’s popular series Desperate Housewives stating a joke that referenced a Philippine medical school. The online petition was to protest against it.

My officemate emailed this, which I’m quoting a few portions:

We are writing to express concern and hurt about a racially-discriminatory comment made in an episode of Desperate Housewives on 9/30/07. In a scene in which Susan was told by her gynecologist that she might be hitting menopause, she 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.”

We demand a public apology to the Filipino American community, and we demand the episode be edited to remove the ignorant and racist remark. We will not allow hateful messages against our community (or any other oppressed community) to continue.

In case you might be wondering what that joke was about, the link below from my number one newspaper might be the one it’s talking about:

Obviously that sort of thing should never have happened in the first place. But…it did, and our country suffered for it.

The email contained a link to the petition. However…I ain’t signing it, nor am I putting it here.

Why, you might ask?

Maybe I’m dense, but…it’s a joke. Jokes are made from certain people, events, what not every other day, mostly because there’s a ring of truth to it.

Of course, it can’t be helped that some people who saw that show might get the false impression that our medical schools here aren’t up to par or whatever. But the reality is, people are free to believe whatever they want whether it’s true or not.

What probably makes it “bad” is an employer might not hire you because of that. Well, if that happens, then he or she isn’t the one you’ll likely want to be working with.

I meant to blog about this sooner, but work’s been keeping me busy. Already I found at least two blogs talking about it, which I’m tracking back to them.

Hmm, eventually ABC apologized for it:

The network and producers of “Desperate Housewives” have issued a statement apologizing for a remark made by actress Teri Hatcher’s character in a recent episode of the television series.

The following is the network’s statement: “The producers of ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ABC Studios offer our sincere apologies for any offense caused by the brief reference in the season premiere. There was no intent to disparage the integrity of any aspect of the medical community in the Philippines. As leaders in broadcast diversity, we are committed to presenting sensitive and respectful images of all communities featured in our programs.”

Oh well, at least they got what they wanted: an apology.

Unfortunately it seems it’s not enough for some people. From that same link:

Meanwhile in Manila, a congressman filed a resolution that called for a ban on airing “Desperate Housewives” in the Philippines.

“This ought not to be shown in the Philippines because of that incident,” Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr., chairman of the House committee on public information told reporters.

WTF? Some people really have nothing else better to do, much more a congressman who ought to file a bill or so to somehow help improve government services or so.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse:

At least three senators have said they are not satisfied with the apology of the American television network ABC for the unflattering comments on Filipino doctors made in its show “Desperate Housewives.”

A senator asked viewers to stop watching the show. Like yeah, as if they won’t just because of this as long when they enjoy the whole series.

I’d have to say that joke was…unfortunate. But what’s more unfortunate is many of my countrymen, however understandable their feelings about that is, are making a big fuss about it.

Friends, an apology has already been issued, and you can bet ABC will (at least) try to ensure this doesn’t happen again. But please, let it go.

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Jennivieve Delos Reyes
Jennivieve Delos Reyes
15 years ago

Teri hatcher should have at least ask the director or the script writer if she has to say it.. i mean she has a choice!