today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

harry & paul tv show's filipina maid comedy sketch - a racial slur in intent and in actual form

"Harry & Paul is a post-watershed comedy sketch series and as such tackles many situations in a comedic way. Set in this context, the sketch in question is so far beyond the realms of reality as to be absurd _ and in no way is intended to demean or upset any viewer," the company said in a statement.

is it just comedy to the extreme or is it a racial slur?

looking at the BBC "Harry & Paul" comedy skit - what makes it racially insensitive is the fact that they identified the "maid" character in the skit as a Filipina. they could have avoided it without harming the humor, but the show chose not to.

within the context of the sketch, identifying the race or nationality of the maid would have not mattered at all.
the maid character was in a stereo-type maid's uniform, there was no way the audience would have mis-identified the character in the sketch in any other role other than a maid.

given that the maid needed to be called out verbally, since one character was at a distance, they could have called her by any female name or referred to her as "maid". using any female name would have not resulted to any confusion since there were only two characters there - a male and female. and given the maid's uniform the woman was wearing, there is no way the audience will get confused about the plot of the sketch.

or they could have used a caucasian actress in that maid's role and the humor would have still been there. the story is just about this man unresponsive to everything, even to the seductive moves of a female. nationality nor race had nothing to do with that story. nationality or race wasn't what made that sketch funny, it was the situation it portrayed.

not using a caucasian actress and instead the use of an asian actress in that role and calling her out as a Filipina and not by any female name makes it very obvious that the writers did intend to make a statement on race and nationality.

they can argue that because most of the maids in the UK are Filipinas (assuming that is true) and calling out that character as one makes the sketch more realistic. but realism in this one is not at all important nor critical. it is to begin with a comedy show and this particular tv show is known for it's outlandish and extreme humor. the show thrives on unrealism, not realism.

the show being about unrealism and not realism is consistent with the show's statement, above at the start of this discussion.

looking at that official statement - " the sketch in question is so far beyond the realms of reality as to be absurd". if what they say is true, that it is "beyond the realms of reality", why then did they identify the maid with a very real name, "Filipina"? to be consistent with going "far beyond the reals of reality" would have lead them to give that maid a name of something like "R2D7000" or "celestial being".

it is doubly insulting that even their official explanation seeks to fool us and shows their thinking that we can be fooled. there is no question about it, this Harry & Paul's Filipina maid sketch in intent and in actual form makes a racial slur against filipinas.


  1. this is a tough one. on one hand, it is true pinays are known to be maids in foreign countries. how is it degrading to be called a maid?

  2. I don't find it insulting. Tv shows have thrown more fierce comments/indications on other nationalities but there were no violent reactions!

    It's a comedy show.


    Wag naman tayo mashadong guilty! hahaha

  3. candish - so, okay sa yo na ang mga pinay maid ay sex slave?

  4. "On the side, when I introduced myself as Filipino to a roomful of 8-15 year-old Spanish kids, I got smirks from a couple of them, and had to explain that Filipino was more than a cookie.Booooo."

    This is what I normally pull out of my fucking-awesome bag of tricks whenever I hear so-called "unfazed" Filipinos lecture me about sensitivity or humor. You're overacting they say. Lighten up they say. Yet here we have a perfect example of why we need to nip these misconceptions and stereotypes in the bud. Sure these are just kids but should we really expect "mature" British viewers to know any better? My god, even adult Americans in Republican rallies still buy the line that Barack Obama is a terrorist.

    Spanish, British or American, there are a lot of dumb people out there and we can't simply appeal to their "maturity" and "understanding". That's a freaking idealist's fantasy! We have to accept the fact that when it comes to matters of race, gaining respect needs to go hand in hand with DEMANDING it.

  5. i agree about the need to demand respect when it comes to matters of race. i also agree there are many dumb people around who will most likely take these things as truth and not as humor.

    but what harmful stereotypes are we talking about here? it is a FACT that many pinays have become maids in foreign countries. is portraying pinays as maids a racial slur or is that just stating the truth?

    and should we be offended by the truth?

  6. Hold up, I thought we were on the same page here? Didn't you object to the sexual ojectification of the Filipina? Because that's what I'm zeroing in on. As for the Filipina as a maid, I don't mind. In fact, I can watch "Ate Stella" trade barbs with Paulina Porizkova all day long. So as you can see, portraying the Filipina as a maid is not bad in itself. It is the context where you place this character that determines the potential for prejudice and abuse.

    Furthermore, I think you're missing a crucial piece here. This sketch does not merely focus on an "unresponsive man". This sketch focuses on a Southerner who has a Northerner for a pet dog . So in being coerced to mate with this pet, is the Filipina maid being treated as a dog as well? Or if is she to remain human doesn't that then suggest bestiality? Whichever way you look at it, this whole thing is screwed six ways to Sunday!

  7. we are on the same page. like you and as i had written here, the filipina as a maid in many foreign countries is the truth and we should not take offense at that. it's a decent job.

    it is the portrayal of the filipina as a sex slave that i have problems with and damaging to Brand Filipina. i had posted that here, too.

    if there is anything that we should take offense at for the filipina portrayed as a maid in foreign countries, it should be against our government officials who have been promoting pinoys/pinays to become OFWs. the need to become OFWs is a question of survival driven by economic policies that make the rich richer while the poor remain poor if not poorer.


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