desperate housewives doesn't trust filipino health care

I think I received like 73 emails about this today (the same email, actually, forwarded over and over again), about a racist remark made on the latest episode of Desperate Housewives... Basically, in a scene at the doctor's office, Susan (played by Teri Hatcher) freaks out when the doctor tells her that she might be hitting menopause. Shocked, she stops him and demands, "Can I check those diplomas? Because I would like to make sure that they're not from some med school in the Philippines." View a clip of the scene here.

Oh, hell nooooo. She did not just say that. But she did. They just had to go there, insulting an entire nation with a ridiculous, offensive throwaway line. It's particularly stupid considering the large number of Filipino and Filipino Americans working in health care sector right here in the United States—doctors, nurses and medical technicians who were professionally trained in the Philippines. In fact, the Philippines apparently produces more nurses working in the U.S. than any other country in the world. Hell, there's a good chance your health care professional's diploma is from some school in the Philippines. That's messed up, Susan. Here's the letter that's being passed around that called everyone to action:
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 health care 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 at http://www.petitiononline.com/FilABC/ 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.


Kevin Nadal,
Filipino Performance Artist/ Activist
If this pisses you off, and you feel like speaking out, read and sign the petition to ABC: Filipino Americans demand for apology from ABC and Desperate Housewives. I'm pretty sure the writers weren't anticipating this kind of reaction when they wrote such a stupid throwaway line. But here you go. Chances are, they aren't going to do a damn thing... but they should sure as hell know how you feel. That's racist!

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