PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Lawmakers were not assuaged by the apology issued by the producers of the American television series, Desperate Housewives over the show’s episode last September 30 questioning the quality of Philippine medical graduates.
“The apology is not enough,” said Sen. Bong Revilla, chairman of the Senate Committee on Information and Public Information.
“The makers of Desperate Housewives should formally and publicly express their apology in their next episode to signify (their) sincerity,” Revilla added.
The popular sex-comedy series immediately drew the ire of Filipino viewers here and in the U.S. mainland after the character played by actress Teri Hatcher questioned the expertise of her doctor, in making an accurate assessment of her condition.
“Before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? I just want to make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines,” Hatcher said while scrutinizing her doctor’s credentials.
Reacting to the barrage of complaints coming from the Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Medical Association among others, ABC Studios and Cherry Productions, the show’s producer, yesterday released an apology through the media.
Senate foreign relations committee chairperson Miriam Defensor Santiago, said she already requested Department of Foreign Affairs secretary, Alberto Romulo, to send a note verbale to the United States Embassy and to instruct Philippine officials in Los Angeles to follow up the country’s protest over the “blatant racial prejudice” displayed by the show.
“As measure of Philippine displeasure, the domestic commercial channel should stop airing the show or cancel its contract,” Santiago went further.
Sen. Pia Cayetano, chairman of the committee on health and demography, said no less than a public apology could repair the damage done by the episode.
“The Philippines is the number one exporter of nurses and the second major exporter of doctors worldwide, Filipino health professionals are known for their fluency in English skills and training, care for patients and dedication to work and we endeavor that such standards are consistently being followed,” Cayetano said in her letter to episode writer and creator Marc Cherry of Cherry Production yesterday.
Revilla further suggested that the “degrading” exchange of dialogue should be erased for future airings of the episode.