ABC Studios sorry for racial slur on ‘Desperate Housewives’

LOS ANGELES, California--(UPDATE 3) The network and producers of “Desperate Housewives” have issued a statement apologizing for a remark made by actress Teri Hatcher’s character in a recent episode of the television series.

The following is the network’s statement: "The producers of ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ABC Studios offer our sincere apologies for any offense caused by the brief reference in the season premiere. There was no intent to disparage the integrity of any aspect of the medical community in the Philippines. As leaders in broadcast diversity, we are committed to presenting sensitive and respectful images of all communities featured in our programs."

The remark, made by Hatcher’s character in a scene with a doctor, was, “Okay, before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? Because I would just like to make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines."

Filipinos, especially healthcare professionals in the US and the Philippines, were outraged by the remark. E-mails expressing outrage circulated among Filipinos all over the world. Blogs and websites denounced the remark.

The Philippines’ Consul General in Los Angeles, Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon, sent a letter of complaint to Mark Pedowitz, president of ABC Studios, which has the domestic and international franchise rights to the show.

The remarks “served to create racial stereotypes, thereby tainting unnecessarily the excellent record of Filipino health care professionals all over the world,” she said in her letter.

The Philippine presidential palace, Malacanang, also said it would seek an apology from the TV network.

Alec Mapa, a Filipino-American actor who has a recurring role in the series, told this reporter via e-mail: “It's unfortunate that the Philippines was used as a punch line. My family is filled with doctors and medical professionals. I know first hand from them, that the medical schools in the Philippines are top notch.”

The actor’s full statement appears in this reporter’s column, “Only in Hollywood,” Friday (October 6).

When asked by if ABC would release a lengthier statement, Charissa Gilmore, ABC Studios vice president for media relations, said this is "the only statement planned."

Meanwhile in Manila, a congressman filed a resolution that called for a ban on airing "Desperate Housewives" in the Philippines.

“This ought not to be shown in the Philippines because of that incident,” Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr., chairman of the House committee on public information told reporters.

The resolution states: “Such dialogue, which was beamed all over the world, constitutes not only a clear slur but an insult of immeasurable magnitude not only to Filipino doctors but to the entire Filipino nation and our educational system.”

Now, I hope that will somehow keep our cool about the issue. But it seems there are some who are not satisfied about the ABC network's statement letter. They want more... aside from asking to Boycott or ban the show, they want ABC network and the Show's Producer to create an episode where Teri Hatcher's character Susan will do something like she will be asking for a Filipino Doctor because she wanted the best doctor to examine her. What??? and now they are asking too much I thought they only want an apology. OVER NAMAN YAN...
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