ABC and Disney racist?

A friend sent me this link. It's a petition asking for an apology from ABC television and the producers of "Desperate Housewives" for a supposedly funny statement from Teri Hatcher's character on the show recently. I don't watch the show, so I haven't seen the scene in question. However, from what I read, the issue came up when Ms. Hatcher's character says to a new doctor, "Let me see your diplomas. I want to make sure you didn't get your medical degree in the Philippines." And there is the problem. In less than a minute, ABC managed to offend an entire country, and, in particular, both its educational system and its health care system.

If this were an isolated incident, I would have chalked it up to ignorance and gone on with my life. Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long line of offenses that ABC has committed against Asians over the years--offenses that they seem to have no problem laughing off, with a pat to the heads of the little yellow people from the East.

Last year, on ABC's popular "The View," Rosie O'Donnell made fun of Chinese people by saying that the Chinese translation of the show sounds like "ching-chong-ching-chong-ching-chong." What did ABC do? They asked her to apologize, which she did by saying, "I'm sorry you were offended." In other words, "I'm sorry you little yellow people are so sensitive that you can't handle a little joke." ABC itself offered no apology, and no disciplinary action was taken against Ms. O'Donnell. Months later, Isaiah Washington from "Gray's Anatomy" was fired for using a gay slur in what he said was just a joke. It's nice to know that ABC has its priorities straight (so to speak).

Of course, by the time that this had happened, I had stopped watching "The View." I could not take any more of Joy Behar's seeming best friend comedian Anthony Cantone. Ms. Behar takes great glee in inviting Mr. Cantone to her show to perform his stand-up act--an act that is full of racial slurs and sexual innuendo. And this is appropriate for morning television when preschoolers are home--how? The last straw for me was when Mr. Cantone announced that producer Ang Lee was very "ang-lee" that he did not receive an Oscar. The reaction to this anti-Asian slur? Absolutely nothing.

So I'm not surprised by what happened on "Desperate Housewives" or ABC's apparent bewilderment at the outrage from the Filipino community. After all, they have a track record of anti-Asian sentiment. Can you believe that this is still happening in 2007? So sad.


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