Calls from angry viewers, and over 30,000 names on an onlinepetition truly got the attention of ABC Studios and the producers of American comedy series DesperateHousewives after the show aired its controversial September 30 episode.
Anexcerpt from the online petition declared: "A statement that devalues Filipinosin healthcare is extremely unfounded, considering the overwhelming presence ofFilipinos and Filipino Americans in the medical field."
Inone scene of the said Desperate Housewives episode, a doctor confronts Susan Mayer (played byactress Teri Hatcher) with the news about Susan experiencing menopause. Duringthe doctor's explanation, the uptight Susan cuts him short with an apparentracist slur against Filipino medical schools.
Dr.Mayfair: "I know for a lot of women, the word ‘menopause' has negativeconnotations. The heart ageing, brittle bones, loss of sexual desire...."
SusanMayer: "Before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? ‘Coz I would justlike to make sure that they're not from some med school in the Philippines."
The producers of Desperate Housewives and ABC Studios have become awareabout the incident as it continues to draw attention inPhilippine news shows and newspapers.
Even Filipino officials expressed their displeasure. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told GMANews.tv that he would write to the producers of the show toseek an apology and note the country's "vehement protest."
Senior cabinetmember Eduardo Ermita also added that the apology should be sought "on behalfof our Filipino professionals."
ABC responded to the growing clamor by issuing a publicapology.
The statement reads, "The producers of Desperate Housewives and ABCStudios offer our sincere apologies for any offense caused by the briefreference in the season premiere. There was no intent to disparage the integrityof any aspect of the medical community in the Philippines.
''As leaders inbroadcast diversity, we are committed to presenting sensitive and respectfulimages of all communities featured in our programs."
ABC, owned by The Walt Disney Co., added that itis considering editing the controversial episode on future airings and DVDs.