Oct 5, 2007

[Philippines] Desperate Housewives: The Aftermath?

Given that ABC has issued a formal apology for Sunday night;s racial slur on Desperate Housewives, I get this feeling the issue isn't about to die down right away. It's still echoing across Filipino communities around the world and the reactions are generally similar, with some exceptions of course. Even today I'm still getting the protest statements in my email inbox and some folks are just now writing about it on their blogs and websites. The writers certainly struck a strong chord with audiences around the world, perhaps just not the right way.

So what now? Isn't a formal apology enough? ABC is smart enough to roll with the punches and I'm sure reruns of the episode will have the witty line struck from the records but of course it'll still take time before everyone gets wind of the details of this story. Believe me, the story is still going around and many people are just finding out about this issue as you read these very words on your screen.

Ironically enough, the news mainly spread because of the web in two ways - (1) through messages directly from Filipino-Americans in the US spreading the word and (2) from other emails sent out by Filipinos who watched the season premier via pirated video download from the web.

Piracy - is there nothing you can't do?

Personally, I too feel bad that the writers chose to go that far. Funny or not, it was certainly in bad taste, especially in a country where everyone seems to be hypersensitive about racial / sexual slurs of any kind, let alone something as clearly stated as a line on a highly popular TV show.

And it also helps show just how strong an online presence Filipinos have - as if the back-to-back years of Filipino candidates winning Miss Photogenic at the Miss Universe awards just through the power of internet voting along, haha. Let the buyer beware indeed.

I just wish we'd let this issue pass and move on. People are still signing the online petition. Others are recommending that local networks here stop airing the show and to refuse to renew their rights to air it if only to help damage their numbers somehow. Others yet feel that the apology is hardly enough and that the show needs to apologize again on-air as part of the next episode, which does seem pretty extreme to me.

And then there are those who just found the line genuinely funny and are willing to take this as tongue-in-cheek humor at is best with a hefty amount of salt at the ready. It's a free country after all, right?

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