This past Sunday night on ABC the series of "Desperate Housewives" aired a racist comment about Filipino's expertise in the medical field. The scene occurred with the actress Terri Hatcher in a checkup at a doctor's office and she is shocked to hear that the doctor is suggesting that she has menopause. As a comeback for his accusations she asks to check his diplomas to make sure that they are not from a medical school in the Philippines. This statement implies that the medical schools in the Philippines are of bad quality and this caused national uproar in the United States, made news in the Philippines, caused many complaints to ABC via phone calls and an online petition. In about two and a half days, 43,500+ Filipinos and Filipino supporters across the globe took part in this petition.
This was brought to my attention via email from my dance instructor of the Pilipino Performing Arts Center (PPAC). Many students also felt angry about this comment, especially because most of us here at the University of South Florida are involved in the Association of Filipino Students (AFS). I am a member of the executive board for this group and forwarded this email to all the members. It caused disappointment to us in this show because many of us actually enjoy "Desperate Housewives."
This is an insult to me and our Filipino communities because many of the Filipino students here at USF are majoring in medical fields. We would be honored to go back home to the Philippines and study there. In fact, I know some people that did move back there to study at our homeland and it is for a fact a lot harder in the Philippines than America. There credit hours are fully loaded with 23-26 credit hours.
I am personally offended because my mother grew up there and went to school to become a respiratory therapist, and she studied day and night and practically had no childhood because that is how strict our society is. Also my Aunt owns a home health aid, my family doctor is Filipino, and many more of my family members are either nurses, doctors or related to the medical field in some way. Filipinos are known for their hard work, commitment, unity, and our obvious pride in our culture. For a comment to come on a popular show to degrade our country and its hard curriculum is insulting.
Although Terri Hatcher is the actress that said the line, I do not believe that she is the one that really believes this about Filipino's. So I hope that she does not get criticized because her assigned line was offensive, no one really knows who exactly decided to create such a comment, all one can do is criticize the network. I am surprised that they would have any racist comments like this due that it is not that much of a comedy and I have not heard that many racial comments before. I would most likely expect a cartoon show or comedy central network to utter these sorts of words.