Filipinos Denigrated on ABC’s Desperate Housewives

I received this appeal in my inbox yesterday. Maybe you guys also have. This is clearly another case of discrimination against us Filipinos (especially those in the healthcare industry). Read on to find out more.

Dear Kababayan and 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 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 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 healthcare 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 here 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.

Sincerely,
Kevin Nadal,
Filipino Performance Artist/Activist
knadal@gmail. com

And here’s a clip of that infamous scene on YouTube (I can’t embed it here for some reason).

Tsk, tsk! What were these scriptwriters thinking when they included such a comment in the said episode? And why pick on Filipinos? Some people are just so prejudiced and ignorant! Alright, enough said. Time for us to start signing that petition!

Related link: Pinoys seek apology from ‘Desperate Housewives’

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