I am so glad that the producers of “Desperate Housewives” have apologized for the racial slur against Filipino medical professionals that was on the show’s first episode of this season.
In the season premiere that aired Sunday on ABC, Teri Hatcher’s character, Susan, goes in for a medical checkup and is shocked when the doctor suggests she may be going through menopause.
“Listen, Susan, I know for a lot of women the word ‘menopause'” has negative connotations. You hear ‘aging,’ ‘brittle bones,’ ‘loss of sexual desire,'” the gynecologist tells her.
“OK, before we go any further, can I check these diplomas? Just to make sure they aren’t, like, from some med school in the Philippines?” Susan fires back.
There was an uproar in the Philippines.
The TV episode even became an international incident, with reports on it topping Philippine news shows and drawing newspaper headlines as officials there registered their displeasure. Filipinos could judge the scene for themselves when it was posted on YouTube.
In Manila, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he was writing the producers of the show to seek an apology and note the country’s “vehement protest.” Senior cabinet member Eduardo Ermita told reporters that an apology should be sought “on behalf of our Filipino professionals.”
“The producers of ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ABC Studios offer our sincere apologies for any offense caused by the brief reference in the season premiere,” cable news channnel ANC quoted the statement as saying.
“There was no intent to disparage the integrity of any aspect of the medical community in the Philippines,” they said.
I immediate called my family doctor, Dr. Mark Guinoo, a 1985 graduate of Manila Medical School, to hear his reaction. He was stunned.
“When will the negative stereotypes ever end?” he said.
Dr. Guinoo has truly been a lifesaver to me. Last year, during a bout with pnemonia, he prescribed “Dr. Scholl’s Foot Lotion” for me, and three months later I was cured.
P.S. — Do you know who really deserves an apology? Women with menopause! Teri Hatcher’s character acted as if she had just gotten a death sentence when she heard the news.
P.P.S. — I will keep my comment promises!
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