PH embassy blasts portrayal of 'Filipino president' in TV series

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2017 11:32 AM | Updated as of Mar 07 2017 05:12 PM

The Philippine Embassy in Washington on Tuesday cried foul over the latest episode of CBS TV series Madam Secretary that negatively depicted "a character purported to be the Philippine President."

Based on the trailer of Madam Secretary's season 3 episode 15, entitled "Break in Diplomacy", the "Philippines' unconventional new president" Datu Andrada was depicted as a character who crosses the line by making inappropriate advances towards the female lead character, US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord.

"This highly negative portrayal of our Head of State not only casts doubt on the respectability of the Office of the Philippine President but also denigrates that way our nation navigates foreign affairs," the embassy said in a statement.

"It also tarnishes the Philippines' longstanding advocacy for women's rights and gender equality," the statement read.

Embassy officials said a letter has been sent to the CBS Corporation on March 6, in "protest" of the character and to urgently call for "the necessary corrective actions."

The episode is scheduled to air in the US on March 12.

"While Madam Secretary is a work of fiction, it tracks and mirrors current events. It is, therefore, inevitable that its depiction of world leaders will have an impact on how its audience views the real personages and the countries they represent," the statement read.

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, FilAms slammed ABC series Desperate Housewives for implicitly saying that medical diplomas from the Philippines may be 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 against the Philippines' education system.