‘Harry and Paul’ racist slur endangers overseas Filipino workers — Migrante Int’l

After hearing from plenty of voices, let’s now hear it from OFWs themselves how they view the “Harry and Paul” incident.

Published here in full is the official Migrante International press release issued some minutes ago:

Sexual abuses, exploitation of Filipino domestic helpers could intensify because of BBC show’s racist depiction of Filipina maid

Migrante International, the largest global alliance of Filipino migrants and the families, warned that more Filipino domestic helpers could become targets of sexual exploitation and abuses because of the racist depiction of a Filipina domestic helper as a sex object in an episode of a BBC comedy show “Harry & Paul.”

“There is nothing funny about this the show’s depiction of Filipina maids as mindless playthings. Portraying them as kowtowing to the sexual needs of their employers subjects our compatriots to even greater danger of abuse,” explained Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairperson of Migrante International.

The migrant leader pointed to the mounting cases of sex trafficking and sexual abuse of Filipina migrants.

“Humiliating representations of Filipina domestic helpers as sex objects only reinforces these racist stereotypes and exposes them to further exploitation, humiliation, and sexual assault,” explained Regalado.

Regalado also expressed disgust that the Filipina maid was portrayed as no more than house pets that can be called upon then shooed away by their employers.

“This is the horrible consequence of the Arroyo government’s much-vaunted policy of encouraging migration to help our sagging economy,” she added. “With no sufficient work at home, we are forced to find work abroad, only to be subjected to various risks and inhumane treatment.”

In the upcoming Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) on October 29-30, Arroyo is expected to showcase her government’s migration policies as a “model for development.”

“But this is a development geared towards the interest of a few who will benefit from our huge remittances while we suffer indignities, even violence, while working abroad,” said Regalado.

To counter the GFMD and its neo-liberal agenda for migration, Migrante International, together with the International Migrants Alliance (IMA), will be sponsoring the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR). “The IAMR, which will be attended by hundreds of migrants across the globe, will give voice to the migrants’ sentiments,” added Regalado.

The IAMR will be held on October 28 at the Bayview Hotel in Manila. On October 19 -29, progressive organizations led by Migrante International will stage a protest campaign called “Ten Days to Shake GFMD.”

6 Comments

  1. liezl

    OMG this is is completely absurd and stupid. It is a show and making fun of people and anything under the sun is their specialty, its what makes up the show…

    I am a Filipino working overseas and i don’t see why our kababayans are over reacting. If they claim that this is a bad stereotyping – think again – If we say that we are better than what was portrayed in the show their is no reason for us to be reacting about it. This should be the least of our problems.

    We have a corrupt government and a president who is only making his family rich and this is what we are wasting our time into?

    Wake up – TV shows are TV shows – whether we like or not this things happens and we are not the only country that are used in this crazy media world but looks like we are the only ones who always overreact.

  2. tonyo

    Media are powerful outlets for culture and values, and thus are very important. So important that we have to tell the venerable BBC that it went overboard in Harry and Paul’s sick joke about Filipina domestic helpers. It reflects badly on how Brits view Filipinos, a big number of whom have been recruited to work for them.

    Whether this is a kind of overreaction is open to be debate. I don’t think it is. There are legitimate issues raised against that show’s episode and they must be heard.

    As to the connection between fighting racism and doing something about the corrupt government, I think the good thing to do is to confront both. Living under the Arroyo government cannot be used as an excuse to accept racism and discrimination.

    Let us not fault our OFWs and the rest of Filipinos if they dare to speak out for their personal and national dignity.

  3. Gener

    Many wise foreigners can take an ethnic slur towards their country. The Brits have a concept of sexual abuse. Ethnic jokes are common, even in our country.

  4. Beth Lizio

    I think the way the Brits shown the scene is just an art which could also be roled not only filipinas but some other nationalities. Since we are superb in all aspects, favorite of the lords, the world love us and prefer our personality to be shown in many ways.Remember, we are born lovely, cute and sugar but we are also known being caotic people amidts the poverty cycle, so why dare to kill the fly? Live and let die, in our country, street girls along Mabini shows worst. The media has the freedom of speech so talk us bad or talk us better, never mind, as long as they talk about us.

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