Philippines unhappy over U.S. TV racial slur 2007-10-03 16:24:24   Print

    MANILA, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines Wednesday expressed "displeasure" over a racial slur made against Philippine medical schools and professionals in a Untied States award winning television show.

    Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Claro Cristobal said Philippine Consul General to Los Angeles Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon has written to the producer of the ABC TV Network show to express the Philippine government's dismay "over the remarks made about our Filipino medical schools".

    In a season premiere aired in the U.S. on Sept. 30, "Desperate Housewives" character Susan Mayer, which was played by actress Teri Hatcher, was featured in an episode wherein she was consulting a gynecologist about menopause.

    Mayer said: "Can I check those diplomas because I want to make sure that they're not from some med school in the Philippines?"

    The spokesman said the Philippine medical profession is highly regarded all over the world as evidenced by high demand of Filipino healthcare professionals in many countries, including the United States.

    "The Philippines is also considered a top medical tourism destination with many foreigners including U.S. citizens who choose to undergo surgical and other medical procedures in recognition of high quality and reasonably priced medical services,"said the spokesman.

    The Philippine presidential palace has also expressed unhappiness over the racial slur in the TV show.

    "Well, on the face, we can look at it as a racial slur. We are looked down upon too much, considering the number of our medical professionals (in the U.S.)," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita told a news conference at the Malacanang presidential palace.

    Asked if the Palace would seek an apology from the producers ofthe show, as well as the local television network ABC which carries it, Ermita said: "Yes, I think we should, on behalf of our Filipino professionals."

    Ermita also appealed to civil society groups and other Filipino organizations in the U.S. to "call the attention" of the show producers" to the "racial slur."

    Several Filipinos, mostly in the medical field, denounced the discriminatory remarks against Philippine medical schools and demanded an apology from the show's producer.

    "Desperate Housewives", which aired in October 2003, features the lives of five sub-urban housewives living along Wisteria Lane in the fictional American town of Fairview.

    Aside from Hatcher, the show stars Felicity Huffman (as LynetteScavo), Marcia Cross (Bree Van De Kamp), Nicollette Sheridan (EdieBritt) and Eva Longoria (Gabrielle Solis).

    The show is aired locally over Studio 23 of Filipino televisioncable net.

    The local daily Philippine Daily Inquirer first reported about the incident on a blog run by one of its reporters.

    The United States recruits thousands of Filipino nurses each year to work in American hospitals.

Editor: Lu Hui
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