Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"How could you, BBC?"

Pinoys to launch protest action vs BBC ‘racist’ show

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos in London are set to launch "concerted efforts" against British government-owned British Broadcasting Corp (BBC) for its reportedly "racist and humiliating" portrayal of a Filipina domestic worker, a lawmaker said on Monday.

Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, head of the subcommittee on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said during the plenary debates on the proposed 2009 budget that Philippine Embassy representatives in the United Kingdom were already coordinating with the Filipino community there regarding their protest actions.

"The Philippine embassy, our representatives there, already have met with the Filipino community for concerted efforts versus the BBC such as a silent protest and a vigil right at the BBC," said Mandanas.

Mandanas added that an email campaign "condemning" the BBC and a demand for apology were also being circulated among Filipinos in London.

The Philippine Embassy has sent letters of complaint to various United Kingdom government offices — including the UK regulatory industry, the Mayor of London, and the BBC itself — while Philippine Ambassador to the UK Edgardo Espiritu is studying whether any legal action can be made, according to Mandanas.

"Ambassador Espiritu is really very active in filing the complaint and studying whatever actions can be done," said the Batangas lawmaker.

Mandanas made the statements in response to the inquiry of Akbayan Rep. Ana Theresia Hontiveros who earlier urged the DFA to demand apology from the British government for the BBC skit portraying a Filipina domestic worker in a "humiliating" manner.

The controversial skit aired in the September 26 episode of Harry and Paul showed comedian Harry Enfield telling a postman that he is ordering his Filipino maid to mate with his friend Paul Whitehouse.

Hontiveros said the supposed young Filipina, who was wearing a gray uniform and an apron, was shown "gyrating and dancing lasciviously."

"He (Enfield) kept ordering the girl to gyrate and dance in front of Paul and even instructed her to hump him," Hontiveros said in a statement.

The lawmaker added that "when an indifferent Paul stood up to go inside the house, Harry scolded the Filipina girl, telling her to get out and just go. The scene closed with the postman sidling up to the Filipina, whispering to her as they walked off together."

Hontiveros said the humiliating portrayal of Filipina workers "promotes negative stereotypes that cultivate impunity among those who abuse Filipina workers abroad."

"By making a horrible scene of exploitation an object of ridicule, the show trivializes an act of abuse commonly experienced by Filipina workers abroad. It desensitizes its audience on human trafficking, an issue that merit global indignation," she said.

She added that making overseas Filipinas appear as submissive sex objects reinforces the notion that foreigners could easily hire small and sexy Filipina domestic helpers and turn them into sexual objects.

"By making it a joke, it encourages a consciousness that promotes human trafficking," Hontiveros said. - JOHANNA CAMILLE SISANTE, GMANews.TV

All Article Vid


Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

Jo, thanks for posting this article. nakakatakot talagang magtrabaho as domestic helper. Kaya lang sa hirap ng buhay kahit ano na lang papasukan para lang kumita. Let us pray for her.

ErnestoDR said...

Thanks Jo for the posting!
This has happened before, is happening now, and will happen again. Unless, we Filipinos stand up for our rights, assert our right place in the world society, put our hearts and heads together, and not become subservient to the fair-skinned simians, we will forever be the subject of humiliation and comdedic innuendos of the so-called superior race.

JoGJMac(http://titajo.blogspot.com) said...

COUNT ME IN! i feel so strongly for us, filipinos. if there's one thing that i can't tolerate, it's insulting remarks or innuendos that thoughtless people hurl at us.

i remember that anecdote about a foreigner's remark that "oh, you filipinos. i know you live on top of trees." to which, the filipino said. "oh, yes, but don't forget that we use elevators and escalators to go up the trees."