Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Desperate Housewives, Desperate for Ratings

All hell and damnation was raised when the premier episode of the fourth season of the American TV show "Desperate Housewives" aired some time ago. Prompting a response from the MalacaƱang palace and a slew of comments from Filipinos all over, said a report I was reading online.

A dialogue between Teri Hatcher's character and her doctor implied that Filipino doctors are substandard and inferior.
In that particular scene, Hatcher's character asked for her doctor's credentials because she thought she was approaching menopause and she just wanted to make sure it was not substandard and did not graduate from a med school here in the Philippines.
"Can I check those diplomas 'coz I just want to make sure that they're not from some med school in the Philippines."

The premier episode was posted on drawing in comments and outrage.

A ban and boycott of the said show has already been proposed by Sen. Rodolfo Biazon as a way of protesting against this very derogatory remark.

A slur like that would somehow tarnish the good image of Filipino doctors and health workers around the world. The show being famous and shown in many countries.
Not only was the remark racist but it was baseless and irresponsible.

Filipino-Americans have already launched an online petition calling for the ABC Network, who airs Desperate Housewives, to apologize.
The petition also points out the major contribution that Filipinos and Filipino Americans make in health care in the United States:

"[A] statement that devalues Filipinos in healthcare is extremely unfounded, considering the overwhelming presence of Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the medical field. Filipinos are the second largest immigrant population in the United States, with many entering the U.S. (and successfully 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 extremely disrespectful and plain and simply ignorant. Many of the hospitals in major metropolitan areas of the U.S. (and the world) would not be able to operate without its Filipino and Filipino American staff members."

Jay Ngo, a Filipino health professional from Riverside, California in the United States ABS-CBN News that the episode was an outrage, saying, "the health care industry, including the best hospitals, is full of Filipino medical professionals."

We may not have the high end medical equipments here in the Philippines (unlike other advance countries) to train medical students but our doctors, nurses and workers in the health industry have proven that despite the lack of equipments they are still able to treat patients competently.
A remark like what Teri Hatcher said on her show not only belittled the Filipino doctors but the Filipino race as a whole.

Their show is aptly titled though, they are so desperate for ratings that they had to lower themselves to such a level.
I'm just glad I have never watched it. I see no point in watching a show that talks only about some housewife's boring life, her insecurities, infidelity and sex escapades.
If you wanted to secure your show's comeback make sure your plots are bearable, with a good story and the dialogues humane with a little wit in it.

If that comment was made in jest, well its not funny and no one is laughing!
And for those who would just say to "Get over it!" please educate yourself first and try to understand the whole situation. I don't think you would feel very fine and dandy when someone would berate you.

Many Americans or Westerners for that matter are flying to "third world" countries like India or the Philippines to get surgeries. Not only do they offer great medical services and lower fees they also have proven that we are very competent when it comes to treating sick people.

When you are already old and probably dying, a Filipino doctor or nurse may just be the one standing right by your side and taking care of your sick ass.


I checked out the Desperate Housewives message board and read some of the comments being made.
One particular poster, I forgot his/her name, was very passionate with their comment but fell short on English.
Of course, seeing the mistake an American then bashed him/her because of their English skills.

Another newsflash to those grammar Nazis out there.
We make errors when talking in your tongue and the more ironic thing is, so do you!
But despite the errors we still try hard to learn and master your language.
And one's skills are not determined by how well they speak English.
Just look at Japan and other nations that also lead in the different fields.
They are hardly taught English but they have excelled!

So, the next time you cannot give a relevant response and then just proceed to criticize someone's language skills just keep your mouth shut.
Spare us the verbal diarrhea! Thank you.

Related stories:
Barong Tagalog Controversy
News article


Ankit said...

i thought i was in for a long analysis of the series.. which i have nt watched.. and dont plan to.. was surprised to read towards the end you havent either :P

anyway good way to put some of the today isnt responsible (not blaming everyone) but still they have to think beforehand before actually broadcasting something to millions.. which they actually dont.. and in turn end up hurting others... *sigh*

Hershey Desai said...

Bah. The show is worthless anyway. Lol, nice joke about the medical degree...but to use that on national TV..what were they thinking. Obviously it wasn't going to be taken lightly.

There is a fine line between a funny joke and a racist comment.
And this, while could have been funny if they didn't mention the place..
Could have said, " graduate from Klu Klux Clan university"

Don't ask where I came up with the name...been playing videogames all day.
The show is pretty cheap.. just in yesterday's newspaper they mentioned how the cast had resorted to stripping down to their lingerie to increase TRP...

sigh... this is why its better to watch Nat Geo and Discovery.