There will now be a protest calling on the BBC and Tiger Aspect Production to make a public apology to the Filipino community and to undertake action to ensure that nothing of anything similar in nature will happen again with respect to every multicultural community in the UK.
Date: 17th October 2008
Time: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Venue: Tiger Aspect Production – 7 Soho Street, London W1D 3DQ
(nearest London underground station: Leicester Square, Charing Cross)
This protest will be held simultaneously with various community groups and concerned Filipinos around the world presenting their own demands to the local British Embassy for an apology from the BBC and Tiger Aspect Production.
Let us make this successful and show the world that Filipinos are united as a people and as a culture. Together let us all demand for respect and dignity for all ethnic and minority cultures.
I’m sure most of you have heard about or even seen the “disgraceful and distasteful” sketch in a recent episode of the Harry and Paul Show, featuring hugely successful British comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse.
For those that haven’t, the sketch itself is centred around the running joke of a northerner being made fun of by a southerner. In this installment the southerner is trying to get the northerner to ‘mate’ with is friend’s Filipino maid. The maid is then seen dancing provocatively in front of the northerner with the southerner telling him to mount her, to no avail. He then tells the Filipina maid to go away.
This of course is a shocking indictment of what British society feels is an acceptable way of portraying the Filipino, and especially the Filipina. Let us not forget our only representation on prime time tv soap operas in the UK is a mail order bride on ITV’s Emmerdale! Let us also not forget the running joke on BBC’s ‘They Think It’s All Over’ where they implied Cricketer David Gower had a young Filipino boy under his desk.
It has created a diplomatic situation not seen since the ‘Desperate Housewives’ insult to overseas Filipino medical workers. Both the Philippine Embassy here and the British Embassy in Manila have been forced to comment.
There are of course two sides to this argument…
The first is the British right to satire. As Anthony from Phil-UK points out “It was not the Filipina maid who was being mocked. The target was the British class system and culture. The skit ridicules stereotypes of the dim-witted Northerner and the pompous upper middle-class Englishman. What you see in the ‘Harry and Paul’ comedy series are typical examples of British self-deprecating and satirical humour.”
The second is the “disgraceful and distasteful” portrayal of the Filipina domestic worker in the UK. As Loline from the Overseas Womens Club states “Filipinos have come here to work, aspire to become a part of the British communities and be accepted as equals. Our culture, like other Asian cultures consider our women as honourable and worthy of esteem. The show portrayed a Filipina in a vulgar, sexist way, “to mate a Filipina maid to a Northerner” is sick! These actions in the sketch cannot be excused as a comedy joke.”
Both very valid points. Have a look at the sketch an make your mind up: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00dnf21/
We as Philippine Generations support the petition as the majority of our parents and the parents of our friends came here as Filipino domestic workers. They have lived through many hardships to get us, our generation and future generations the opportunity to live and work as equals here in Britain.
We have come so far as a people that we cannot stand idly by and continually let ourselves be negatively stereo-typed any longer. If some positive stereo-types were thrown in from time to time, maybe it would balance out!
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Make your own mind up and send us your thoughts.