MANILA - Malacanang on Tuesday hit a US television series that negatively depicted the "Philippines' unconventional new president" in an episode set to air next week.
Based on the trailer of Madam Secretary's season 3 episode 15, entitled "Break in Diplomacy," the new Filipino president was depicted as a character "who crosses the line" by making inappropriate advances towards the female lead character, US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord.
"I think they are confusing their images. I think they are projecting something that they really would like to say about their own situation. Really, I think they should use a fictional US president," Abella told reporters.
US president Donald Trump has been criticized for his remarks and inappropriate advances against women, including body shaming a former pageant candidate.
The trailer in question had this caption in its Youtube video: "Elizabeth is shocked when the Philippines’ unconventional new president, Datu Andrada (Joel de la Fuente), makes a pass at her during their meeting to discuss his refusal to participate in an Asia-Pacific territory treaty."
When pressed to comment whether Palace found the trailer "insulting," Abella said: "Well, they engage in something that they would like to--- It's their business. It's their craft. You cannot deny them their craft. Their taste, perhaps."
The Philippine embassy in Washington already sent a letter to the CBS Corporation, in "protest" of the character and to urgently call for "the necessary corrective actions."
As of posting time, CBS Corporation officials and producers of the show have yet to comment on the issue.
Madam Secretary was not the first TV series to be called out by Filipino-Americans for derogatory statements against Filipinos.
In 2007, Fil-Ams slammed ABC series Desperate Housewives for saying that diplomas earned from Philippine medical schools were questionable.
"Can I check those diplomas because I want to make sure they're not from some med school in the Philippines," a character from the show told her gynecologist.
ABC has apologized for the "racial slur" after thousands of Filipino Americans protested and signed a petition against the dialogue that discriminated Philippines' education system.