Tuesday, October 7, 2008

BBC News Insults the Filipino Nation

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez voiced willingness Tuesday to join groups protesting a "racist" portrayal of a Filipino domestic worker by British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC).

Gonzalez told a radio interview that he is willing to sign a petition protesting the supposedly racist and humiliating portrayal of a Filipino helper in the show "Harry and Paul."

"If I am going to be asked, I will join that. I don't like our fellow Filipinos to be insulted," he said in an interview on dwIZ radio.

But Gonzalez also said some groups in the country may be partly to blame for the slur, saying their criticisms of each other in public "encouraged" foreigners to make fun of Filipinos.

"Kaya lang kung minsan tayo rin ang nagpapahiya sa atin. Araw-araw binabanatan natin ang sarili natin. Wala tayong hinahanap kundi ang masama sa Pilipinas kaya lumalabas sa ibang bansa, ganoon (We are the ones shaming ourselves. We criticize each other in public so frequently that foreigners take it as an encouragement to insult us too)," he said.

"Siguro sabihin nila, sila mismo nagbabanatan eh (Foreigners may be thinking, what's wrong with insulting Filipinos if they insult each other all the time)," he added.

Earlier reports said 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.

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.

Akbayan Representative Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel 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.

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

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