In an attempt to argue their stand, several of those who found the controversial lines from Desperate Housewives and The Daily Show offensive tried to turn the tables and took the “What if it was you?” route against supposed offenders.
The thing with Americans is that most of them dismiss such accusations as trivial jokes. Sure, a few have been offended and have complained, but the intensity of the rage was not as much as the Filipino indignation during the Desperate Housewives brouhaha.
Try a Google search of anti-American sentiments and you’ll find thousands of articles and websites calling Americans “stupid,” “retards,” “terrorists,” etc. Rarely would you see, however, Americans protesting against the offensive lines.
A TV satire in Australia once aired a video “proving” that Americans are stupid and yet no online petitions exist calling for the writers or producers to apologize for the “insulting” remark.
Video: Australian news satire calls Americans “stupid”
Don’t get me wrong. We Filipinos have all the right in the world to complain whenever we feel insulted by another nation. But when the mob mentality kicks in, when we sign online petitions because not doing so would seem unpatriotic, and when we ourselves are guilty of making racist comments against other people, it just doesn’t seem right.
We are sending a wrong message to the world: Don’t mess with Filipinos, you retards, stupid racists, you. Or else…
The problem is, at times, we are offended because we do not completely understand the context of the joke.
In Desperate Housewives, Susan Mayer is the epitome of an ill-informed, biased, and ditzy American who thinks those who did not graduate from US schools are less competent. Such character was never glorified in the show and yet we felt slighted by her ribbing.
Also in a later sequence after the controversial scene, the Harvard-educated doctor told her his initial diagnosis was wrong. This means even the “educated” ones make mistakes — and they are no better than a counterpart educated by “Philippine med schools.” That was the context of the remark of Teri Hatcher’s character.
In The Daily Show, calling Cory Aquino “slut” involved a “reversal of roles” that has long been used as an effective comedic strategy. Former Pres. Aquino is known to be a religious, God-fearing individual and tagging her a term that is completely opposite of what she is famous for is what provided the humor. The segment was satirical and was not meant to be taken literally.
Again, had these lines been delivered matter-of-factly in news programs or documentaries, we have the right to be enraged. But if we protest in any other instances, it only shows how onion-skinned and sensitive we are and how we cannot take a few jokes. It wouldn’t be surprising if late-night US comedy shows would start lampooning our cry-baby, whiny attitude towards these jokes.
Americans have long been labeled “stupid” by other races and yet they are not complaining. Two comedy shows played a little joke on us and we responded with misplaced indignation. It’s time we grow up.
Since we’re in the topic of getting pissed at anything anti-Filipino, let me indulge you with a video of another American TV show that “insulted” our race. Here’s an episode of The Family Guy aired in late 2006 where a character acting as a news anchor says:
And in international news, I am fairly certain that Filipino nurse is stealing from me.
Anyone drafting a new online petition?