BBC’s Harry and Paul racist sketch against Pinays

Whew! when will it ever stop? After the Desperate Housewives insult on Philippine medical schools and Filipino doctors, here comes another racist and insulting episode from the British Broadcasting Company’s Harry and Paul show.

The less than 1 minute sketch  packed racist and sexist insults on Filipina domestic helpers abroad.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… one may say that we are just too onion-skinned to be hurt and insulted by comedians who get their breaks by dishing out “jokes’ like this. I wouldn’t find it funny even if it were a British maid who was portrayed in the sketch… nor any other woman of any nationality. It is simply disgusting and of bad taste. What makes more painful for Filipina domestics in particular is that the sketch has turned the violence and sexual abuse the Filipinas suffer abroad into something that is comic.

Yes, we Filipinos are fond of making fun out of ourselves, our situation, our problems, our culture and we, too, are fond of making jokes about other people. We, too, have a thousand and one racist and sexist jokes. BUT that does not make this offense against Filipinas less grievous. To portray a Filipina maid as a sexual object and make her plight something to be laughed at is entirely a different thing.

I support Rep. Risa Hontiveros’ call for an apology from the BBC for this grave insult.

BBC apology demanded for ‘racist’ show

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
First Posted 16:39:00 10/06/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) should apologize for airing a segment of a comedy show last month that was a “racist, humiliating, and disgusting” portrayal of a Filipina domestic helper, a lawmaker at the House of Representatives demanded Monday.

Akbayan partylist Representative Risa Hontiveros also asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to file a complaint against the British government so that the latter would “look into the issue and correct the sickening joke.”

Hontiveros was referring to a skit shown on “Harry and Paul” aired on BBC on September 26 that was also posted on
youtube at

In the skit, a postman approached comedian Harry Enfield, who was agitated and was shouting at someone, and asked him what was going on.

It turned out that the co-host Paul Whitehouse was seated on a chair on his lawn and beside him was a gyrating young girl in a grey uniform and an apron.

Harry then told the postman that he was shouting at his Filipino maid to do her job and get his friend Paul to mate with her.

He kept ordering the girl to gyrate and dance in front of Paul and even instructed her to “hump him.” When an indifferent Paul stood up to go inside the house, Harry scolded the Filipina telling her to get out.

The scene ended with the postman sidling up to the Filipina and whispering to her as they walked off together.

“It was revolting. It was a disgusting and insensitive and racist attempt to satirize a scene of exploitation,” Hontiveros said.

She added that the show “trivializes an act of abuse commonly experienced by Filipina workers abroad.”

“This has to be corrected, otherwise, it would become easy for other media outfits to use Filipina workers abroad as an object of sexual ridicule. …The media should be a partner against human trafficking and not an unwitting promoter of abuse because of insensitive and racist portrayals of women in trafficking,” she said.

(youtube video courtesy of thetrueasiatictribe)