British comedy ‘Harry and Paul’ show dishes out racist skit vs. Filipinos

Had the British comedians poked fun instead on President Arroyo, nobody would have cared or — I suspect — Filipinos themselves would have given them ringing applause.

But the “Harry and Paul” show dissed our decent, hardworking domestic helpers. The BBC must apologize to all Filipinos, especially the thousands who the Brits have recruited as domestic helpers and caregivers.

Watch the video here.

Philippine government officials should express our displeasure as soon as possible or during the Global Forum on Migration and Development slated later this month here in Manila.


  1. Jax

    Hi, I’m English and know of this program.
    The problem is that you haven’t got the joke. I appreciate that British humour can be hard to grasp for people not from the UK.

    The target of the joke is the middle class white guy, the scenario highlights his naive ignorance and inherent racism. The main candidate for the racism is actually the Northern guy _not_ the Filipino maid, she could easily be replaced by any other nationality, she isn’t the point.
    The joke is that the middle class white guy is treating his northerner as his pet and doesn’t realise how terrible his actions are.

    Note that British humour inherently pokes fun out of British people themselves. I encourage you to watch things like The Office, Brass Eye and Peep Show. The point of these shows is to follow an inherently flawed character and to laugh at them.

    I also encourage you to visit the UK, we have one of the most multi-cultural capitals and aside from the odd ignorant bastard we are very ANTI-racism. Racism is actually a bit of a public taboo in the UK these days, being racist is utterly unacceptable in most social circles here.

  2. Jax

    I don’t think you quite follow if you expect an apology, either that or you’re too keen to be offended.

    The premise of the comedy is to show someone being naively racist, you cannot do that without displaying some racism. Why would you apologise for what is a fiction and a fiction to highlight the idiocy of the man being naively racist?
    The intention is that people laugh at the person being ignorant, this is what the audience and laugh track are laughing at.

    This is unequivocally a non-issue, it’s only an issue because of the difference in our cultures mean we interpret the sketch differently. The “badness” of this sketch would only exist if the artists we _intentionally_ _promoting_ this concept. If you watched British comedies you would understand that they are not.

    If your politicians are pushing this issue in media I would suggest that they are attempting to distract you from a real issue. Media types and politicians do this kind of thing when trying to manipulate its population to the interests of government. Consider America and “freedom fries” in the run up to the Iraq war or protests about the Mohammad pictures that Egypt held (many days after the event) to distract the population while they pushed through legislation on social housing that gave disadvantages to the poor.

  3. tonyo

    “Differences” encourages either respect for diversity or racism. In this case, I think we cannot quarrel with our compatriots’ feelings that the said skit was racist. You can dispute that until you get hoarse or plead innocence because it purportedly is BBC’s way to teach UK racists a thing or two, but that cannot erase the fact that our Filipino domestics were given a racist treatment.

    Now, please trust that our government cannot and will not get away with its crimes even if they parrot anti-racist lines as if to assuage our anger. We are not that stupid.

  4. Anthony

    @Jax we encountered each other’s comments on another blog.

    As a British-born Filipino, I have some idea of both sides’ perspectives. I too have tried explaining the point about British humour and satire. Unfortunately, this seems to be one of those cultural differences that are not easily reconciled.

  5. Jax is a Jackass

    @Jax… Just Put it this way, what if you were in our shoes, being a filipino. Imagine what if the joke was on your fellow countrymen… even if it’s just a joke, it still is a disrespect to us , Fuck You! , just think of it, what if your mother was a filipino maid?! You jackass!

  6. Ugh.

    Why don’t you guys get Jax’s point? Our race also makes racist comments about Indians and Arabs, espsecially that annoying Revilliame guy on TV? Your kinds are what our race get a bad rep. >:^|

    Sticks and stones, guys. Sticks and stones.

    I could just imagine him thinking: “They’re hopeless.”

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