Yes, my Kumares! I’ve seen the much-talked-about clip of Desperate Housewives’ latest season opener. Before I wrote about my reaction to this, I took a deep breath, a cold shower, and a little dose of daydreaming.
Now I’m done.
It was indeed a sweeping comment, but considering that a lot of characters in a lot of American TV series and movies have this certain “anything un-American is barbaric mentality,” I wasn’t really surprised.
Besides, it seems like the producers of Desperate Housewives expect Filipinos to react violently on the matter. I mean, the line could have been “Can I check those diplomas? I would just like to make sure they’re not from some med school in Zimbabwe!” but the writer chose Philippines instead. I suppose it’s because people around Hollywood know about how we like to hear the mere mention of “Philippines” or “Filipinos” in American TV and movies. It’s just like assuring ourselves that “Wow! Those Americans still remember us!”
And those mentions range from the seemingly nice…
“I like Filipinos. They are Asians, but not too cocky about it.” — from Will and Grace
To having some hints of sarcasm…
“In California, it doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Asian, or Hispanic. In 20 or 30 years from now, everybody will be Filipino.” — from comedian Paul Rodriguez (he’s Hispanic, by the way)
To just darn blunt…
“Philippines…mi casa es su landfill.” — from Conan O’Brien
So, do we really have to make patol on the desperadas? I think not. Maybe the government can ask for a backgrounder on why Susan–Teri Hatcher’s character–said such remark (ethnocentrism, the abundance of fake diplomas or psychic surgeons in the country, whatever) but calling the actress “persona non grata”? Isn’t that too much?
And would the American audience care anyway? It’s just a line from a script. They would still go to hospitals filled with Filipino doctors and nurses. They would still get the care they deserve because those health care personnel were taught from some med school in the Philippines.