BBC’s Harry and Paul owes Filipinos an apology

After the very much annoying episode of “Desperate Housewives” making that comment about Filipino doctors, here’s another nasty one from the BBC that would surely enrage all Filipinos both in abroad and in the country. Take a look at the video…

Last night, I saw in the news the much talked about episode of BBC’s “Harry and Paul”. The episode shows a Filipina maid being ordered by one of the main characters, Harry to dance, gyrate and seduce Harry. It was a very horrible scene and even if the tv program is supposed to be a comedy, I bet that no Filipino bought that joke. In fact, it’s not a JOKE.

According to the headlines, the Philippine embassy has already written United Kingdom’s media regulatory agency, the mayor of London, the secretary of state for women, and the television network to complain about the said tv program.

In a certain interview, Philippine Ambassador to the UK Edgardo Espiritu criticized the skit as “gutter humor.” According to him, the show opposes the British government’s advocy in observing equality and respect for human rights.

Filipino organizations have also started rallying in protest to the said show.

Well, a comedy show will only be funny if the humor does not tend to degrade or hurt other people. Media should always know their responsibilities and limitations. In this case, BBC went beyond the lines of comedy. Yes, they insulted the Filipinos with that racist episode BUT they also threw garbage and mockery to their own yard. It’s such a shame that they aired a video showing how they, the Britons, exploit their maids. Thus, the program also featured what kind of employers they are. Tsk! tsk! tsk!

I do hope that BBC will realize the damage they did. They owe the Filipinos an apology. And it should be made PUBLIC too.


5 Responses to “BBC’s Harry and Paul owes Filipinos an apology”

  1. 1 Jax October 8, 2008 at 2:50 am

    Hi, I’m English and know of this program.
    The problem is that you haven’t got the joke. I appreciate that British humour can be hard to grasp for people not from the UK.

    The target of the joke is the middle class white guy, the scenario highlights his naive ignorance and inherent racism. The main candidate for the racism is actually the Northern guy _not_ the Filipino maid, she could easily be replaced by any other nationality, she isn’t the point.
    The joke is that the middle class white guy is treating his northerner as his pet and doesn’t realise how terrible his actions are.

    Note that British humour inherently pokes fun out of British people themselves. I encourage you to watch things like The Office, Brass Eye and Peep Show. The point of these shows is to follow an inherently flawed character and to laugh at them.

    I also encourage you to visit the UK, we have one of the most multi-cultural capitals and aside from the odd ignorant bastard we are very ANTI-racism. Racism is actually a bit of a public taboo in the UK these days, being racist is utterly unacceptable in most social circles here.

  2. 2 Pedestrian Observer GB October 9, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Good point Jax, its a satire as in not real and the Philippine official’s response unwittingly draws them into the absurdity of the show which is what it is……absurd. They must have lost their marbles errr sense of humor……

  3. 3 Anthony October 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Most of the people who were offended simply missed the target of the joke. Filipino and British humour are very different so this is unsurprising. Regardless of whether or not it’s funny, the skit is actually an anti-racist and anti-misogynist commentary.

    There’s some more explanation of this post and comments about the Filipino community’s petition against the Harry and Paul show.

  4. 4 Fili in London October 24, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I got the joke but regardless if the program was being racist towards filipinos or to the Northern Guy or to anybody else, its still offended alot of people and in this case majority of the filipinos. Now if your a decent person or if i may say a well renown broadcasting channel, when you have offended a person even if you meant it or not AND you got a complaint or somehow felt that you did offend then you would do the decent thing and apologize right? it doesnt cost a thing. you may even call it being polite. One thing is sure; Filipino’s are very sensitive when it comes to bad humor especialy if it concerns them as a whole. I hope lessons are learnt and Filipinos dont take it to hard coz as they say “British Humor” can only be truly appreciated by who??…. who else

  5. 5 missgiftsphilippines August 5, 2009 at 3:33 am

    i wonder why a lot of foreigners are sounding very racist. I’ve heard and read a lot of blogs bout this. same old stories.

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