Desperate Housewives’ Susan Mayer Insults Filipino Doctors (Video)

October 4, 2007

On Sunday’s premiere episode of Desperate Housewives, Teri Hatcher’s character, Susan Mayer, is seen speaking with a doctor (see video below) and says:

“Okay, before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? ‘Cause I would just like to make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines.”

First of all, what an insult! Here’s why. 1) I am Filipino. 2) My father is a doctor who graduated from medical school in the Philippines. So, let’s re-examine that remark, shall we? Did the writers of Desperate Housewives think that this was a funny line? What a total insult to the Filipino doctors who practice anywhere in the world, not just in the U.S. My father worked very hard while he was in medical school, graduated, did his internship in Canada, then did his residency in the U.S. He would eventually specialize in Anesthesia and would become Board Certified in his specialty. So, does that sound like he started out in a shoddy medical school to begin with? I think not. So shame on the writers of Desperate Housewives. You’ve lost a faithful viewer, and hopefully more Filipinos will boycott your show as well.

In response to all the negative publicity and after the urging of many Filipino doctors and health care workers, ABC issued a statement:

“The producers of Desperate Housewives and ABC Studios offer our sincere apologies for any offense caused [by the insulting remark] in the season premiere. There was no intent to disparage the integrity of any aspect of the medical community in the Philippines.

Too late. The damage is already done.

Video of the insulting remark is below.

Video of Teri Hatcher’s character Susan Mayer insulting Filipino doctors.

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9 Responses to “Desperate Housewives’ Susan Mayer Insults Filipino Doctors (Video)”

  1. 1
    Risemoon Says:

    Say it JCC!

  2. 2
    Not so Desperate Flip Says:

    I think flips should take jokes as jokes. Jokes abound in the Philippines, too. A convicted drop-out former president who’s been the brunt of jokes take jokes in stride in his palatial jail – similar to Escobar’s self-made jail in Colombia. That’s right guys. Flips imprison corrupt government officials in palaces – so that the incumbents if convicted with similar charges get to chose their palace jails, too. Going back to this convicted president, this guy reportedly replied when his doctor said he will apply local anesthesia to his wound, “Money’s no problem. I can afford imported anesthesia.”

    Where in the world doctors would downgrade themselves as nurses just to get to the US? Where in the world medical board toppers surprisingly come from low-end diploma mill med schools? Where in the world med students have to re-take board exams even if they passed the first one? Only in the Philippines because of money and corruption. Money really gets you around in the Philippines. It’s not what you know but whom you know (you can bribe).

    A mother brought her child to a Flip pedia. “What wrong with the kid?”, the flip doc asked. The mother says the kid’s not been eating. The flip doc replied, “… maybe he’s not hungry.” – as his findings.

    You can’t blame Flip docs and nurses if they see their American patients as zombies or cadavers they used to dissect at their low-end med schools. It’s green bucks they’re after, you know and nothing more. They’re just like any US migrant who would do anything in their country just to get to the Big Apple or anywhere in America.

    Anyway, ABC’s apology is merely a marketing ploy and they’re laughing their hearts out of this brouhaha.

  3. 3
    Philippines Blog Says:

    you are right about all the remarks here my friend. it’s not even just an issue of anybody as a doctor including your father but it is an issue of decency. decency on judging people subjectively without any use of the hypothalamus.
    The writer/s of the segment indeed must have had a good time giving that line a punch. they should have thought who they’re dealing with.
    Look at the issue of Malu Fernandez….whoever insults a fellow Filipino will the greatest enemy of all Filipino bloggers and this will not pass without the bloggers here in the Philippines taking a note or two about the issue. Let us tell the world we’re no ordinary people, we got it and we are proud of it.

  4. 4
    Ben Brillantes Says:

    I found an interesting perspective on the subject from another Filipino blog here:

    Some food for thought to digest, certainly.

  5. 5
    Ben Brillantes Says:

    Yes, I think I have to agree with what this guy says on his blog:

    I will end my commentary on the whole issue by simply asking why we think it is perfectly alright for us to do this:

    and this:

    and even for one of our most respected politicans to say this:

    but when anyone dares to poke fun at a segment of our population like

    everyone immediately cries racism and discrimination?

  6. 6
    LOUIE Says:

    “Okay, before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? ‘Cause I would just like to make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines.?

    This insulting line from the Desperate Housewives offended the feelings of all medical Filipino doctors and even Filipino citizens. For me, it’s too insulting, here’s why, first, I am Filipino citizen. Even though I’m not taking medical courses it is really an outrage for us Filipinos because they didn’t have their right to insult us, though they think that that was a FUNNY LINE, for us Filipinos its not. Did the writers of Desperate Housewives think that this was a funny line? What a total insult to the Filipino doctors who practice anywhere in the world, not just in the U.S.

  7. 7
    Mikaela Says:

    i think di ntin dpat sisihin c teri hatcher kc wla syang kinalaman dun maybe and sisihin nlng ay ung director and the script writer..,

  8. 8
    doug Says:

    It is a common notion when in the philippines that bigotry and prejudice is as common as your daily meal.

    You watch a noontime show and the hosts and audience laughs out loud for every insult they throw at somebody who is:

    1. black – they call them negra/negro
    2. kuba
    3. bulol
    4. pandak – midget
    5. pasal
    6. bisaya
    7. people with deformities and disabilities

    … and the list goes on.

    You see a black person walking on the street and you will see people pointing fingers at him, laughing and see the indifference in their faces.

  9. 9
    My So-Called Asian Identity: Infinite Q&As | The Public Sphere Says:

    […] of a presence in U.S. pop culture…at least until recently. A character on Desperate Housewives insulted a doctor by implying that he had attended a Filipino medical school.  I remember reading about how the […]