01 November 2013

TROPHY WIFE: Is The Joke Offensive to Filipinos?

In this week's Trophy Wife, which was their Halloween episode, there was an exchange between Pete and his ex-wife Diane that went like this:

Diane: "The truth is, anyone could have egged your house. Let it go."
Pete: "This from a woman who had her housekeeper deported because she scratched her coffee top."
Diane: "I was doing her a favor, in the Philippines she's a doctor." 

Here's a video of that scene. I took it using Instagram's features, so please excuse the quality:

Did you find the dialogue offensive?

I didn't really pay much attention while I was watching this,  despite my habit of taking note of anything Pinoy or Filipino mentioned on US programs. The truth is, I didn't like this particular scene between Pete and Diane, because I was more interested with the Bert storyline for this episode (that was more hilarious!). But someone in my Facebook timeline took note of the quip, so I checked the episode again.

I checked for Twitter reactions and found only one (1) mention about it.  I looked around at some Filipino message boards, and no one was talking about it.

Remember this from several years ago? Everyone had their say about it, including politicians and government leaders who demanded an apology from the American TV network ABC. Debates on this ensued for weeks. My own blog entry of it was filled with comments for more than a month.

This time, however, it seemed only a few people took notice (and took offense) of the Trophy Wife episode.

It could be because...

  • It's the holidays this week in the Philippines. Politicians (and everyone who'd normally like to have a say) are taking a long break. 
  • It's not newsworthy...definitely not worthy enough to have people delurk from their long vacation and grandstand, or  tweet, or blog, or comment about it. (Guess I'm the only one who has no life outside of my watching TV, huh? Coz here I am, blogging about it! Heh!)
  • Not everyone has heard of Trophy Wife. Especially not in the Philippines. Because the show is relatively new, debuting just six weeks ago, it's practically unheard of in this side of the world. But checking Trophy Wife's Facebook page also tells me, it isn't exactly a popular show over there, too. 
  • Filipinos residing in America haven't been watching this show. And I've deduced this from forum activity in a popular Filipino community. There was no mention at all. To be honest? I was more bothered by this because it shows why Trophy Wife isn't winning with ratings. Darn, it...no one watches this show!  Now, I worry about whether or not it's getting another season because it's one of the new shows I've come to enjoy. 
  • No one gives a damn anymore. I'd like to think that after that Desperate Housewives incident, some of us have learned a thing or two about handling offensive comments. Or why pouring energy over it is a total waste of time. 
My attitude about this is pretty much like when people defend religion ---  If you have to point out why the statement or joke is insulting, then the problem lies with how intact is your self-perception.

Surely, this joke isn't the "fact" that defines Filipino maids & doctors, right?