Teri Hatcher doesn’t want her vagina examined by doctor from Philippines

In a controversial clip from the premiere of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, Teri Hatcher (as Susan Mayer) refuses to be examined if the doctor is from ‘some med school in the Philippines.’ Why did the popular TV series single out the Philippines?

Watch the video:

The controversial line:

“Okay, before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? Coz I would just like to make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines.

Why blame Teri Hatcher?

While it is impulsive to blame Teri Hatcher because she allowed herself to become the instrument of a prejudicial statement, it is the scriptwriter, director and producers of Desperate Housewives who have a lot more explaining to do.

Teri Hatcher was just following the script.

Was it a racial slur?
Although Teri Hatcher’s dialogue did not say ‘Filipinos’, it was nonetheless derogatory to the people of the Philippines by suggesting that medical professionals who graduate from Philippine schools cannot be trusted.

Why do Filipinos feel insulted by the dialogue?

It is because Filipino doctors are now among the visible minority in the medical field in the United States, alongside South Asian Indians. This same is true in the nursing field. Aside from White people and Blacks — the two major racial groups — professionals from the Philippines and India already comprise a sizable and respectable segment in the American medical field.

Teri Hatcher’s dialogue is a recognition of this fact. If not, why would the Philippines even be mentioned, or even singled out?

Philippine government reacts; Senator calls for ban

In a news report on ABS-CBN (Malacañang to ‘Desperate Housewives’: Apologize for slur):

The furor over a slur uttered against Philippine medical schools on the premier episode of the fourth season of the American TV show “Desperate Housewives” has prompted a response from Malacañang Palace. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the TV show belittled the abilities of Filipino doctors and sent a message that Philippine medical schools produced “substandard, inferior” medical practitioners.

Senator Rodolfo Biazon has called for a ban on the show on Philippine TV.

Filipino-Americans launch online petition vs ABC, Desperate Housewives

In an online petition,Filipino Americans demand for apology from ABC and Desperate Housewives:

As members and allies of the Filipino American community, we are writing to inform know that this type of derogatory remark was discriminatory and hurtful, and such a comment was not necessary to maintain any humor in the show. Additionally, a statement that devalues Filipinos in healthcare is extremely unfounded, considering the overwhelming presence of Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the medical field.

Blog Reactions:
MarcherieFrancine: “It is very unfair and we all know that there are many good doctors who graduated in Philippines and are working in foreign countries.”
Blogadeur: Blame the writer and not the actress. And we should always welcome criticisms – bad or good.
PinoyBlogero: “Boycotting Desperate Housewives would just be a waste of time.”
Boregasmic: Can you honestly believe that our doctors suck that much that they have to become a punchline in an American TV show created by a gay person (Marc Cherry) who is presumably liberal and not predisposed to racial slurs such as this?
CrazyAdventures: “I can live with it as a reminder of how we need to improve the Philippine Educational system.”
WakeTrex: “ABC could care less Filipinos boycotting the show.”
TeaAndCrackers(Script) writers should really research into their claims, even though comical, before putting it out there in front of 19 million viewers.

What Teri Hatcher’s dialogue really meant?

Let’s review:

“Okay, before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? Coz I would just like to make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines.

Teri Hatcher’s dialogue (as Susan) was simply saying she wants to make sure the doctor’s diplomas are not fake.

The problem of fake diplomas in the Philippines

The problem of fake diplomas has been a lingering issue even among school authorities in the Philippines. It has become an urban legend especially in the city capital of Manila, where one can buy a diploma of choice from some hole-in-the-wall printeries along Recto Ave. in Sta. Cruz district in the middle of the so-called University Belt.

An article in Asia Times Online written by Miriam Grace Go reports:

There’s an entire street in Manila where shops are known to produce fake diplomas, transcripts of records, theses, even professional licenses.

And from a Philippine Daily Inquirer report last August 1:

Security features in diplomas — similar to those used in money — may soon prevent the rampant selling of fake diplomas in the streets of Manila …. The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) is set to start the implementation of the securitization of school documents such as diplomas, transcripts of records, and special orders by next semester following direct consultations with both public and private schools.

Manila Mayor cracks down on diploma mills

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim Jr., also known as “Dirty Harry” for his tough-talk, ordered a crackdown last month on printeries involved in the manufacture of fake diplomas and other public documents. At least 10 people were arrested.

He said:

“We hope to erase the image of Manila as the country’s ‘fake diploma capital,’ a reputation it has earned these past several years.”

26 Responses to “Teri Hatcher doesn’t want her vagina examined by doctor from Philippines”

  1. nazi like says:


  2. the script said “some med school in the Philippines” not some “diploma from Philippines”

    doesn’t that mean they weren’t alluding to the fake diplomas but rather Medical Institutions in the Philippines?

  3. Rob says:

    Weeeeeee!!! that’s the reality… I hope sooner or later that image will disappear in the minds of the people around the world.

  4. newyorker says:

    Joana Palomar, Spokesperson, Ugnayan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, 212-564-6057, ugnayan_nyc@yahoo.com

    Statement of Ugnayan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Linking the Children of the Motherland) on the Racist Comment Made Against Filipinos on Desperate Housewives

    Progressive Filipino American youth in New York and New Jersey strongly condemn ABC’s Desperate Housewives’ executive producer and writer Marc Cherry and the other producers, editors and the director of the show for the racist remark made against Filipinos in the Sept. 30, 2007 episode. We join the Filipino community and its allies in demanding from ABC a public apology and recognition of the existence of systemic racism in the corporate media and corporate-driven pop culture.

    In the Sept. 30, 2007 episode of Desperate Housewives, Teri Hatcher’s character is told by her gynecologist that she might be hitting menopause, to which she replies, “Can I just check those diplomas because I just want to make sure that they are not from some med school in the Philippines.” The comment reflects systemic racism at its worst. Targeting an entire education system (rather than targeting individuals based on skin color, which is how we have traditionally defined racism), the comment is based on the racist assumption that the products of a western education are far more qualified than the products of a Philippine education.

    Filipino youth, conscious and aware of our history, know that it was the US who set up the Philippine education system in the first place when the Philippines was a direct colony of the US in the early 1900s. We understand that the main beneficiary of this crippled Philippine education system IS the US, especially in the medical field. The US opens and closes its doors to immigrants based not on qualifications, but on the need for labor. This was the case at the height of the “Brain Drain” in the 70′s and 80′s when there was an influx of medical professionals migrating from the Philippines into the US, and US immigration laws were relatively lenient. However, once saturated with medical professionals, the US closed its doors by setting up stricter immigration policies.

    Filipino youth, conscious and aware of the issues of our community, know that the Filipino medical professionals who migrated in the 70’s and 80’s are becoming replaced by a new generation of service workers, mostly domestic workers, who hold the same degrees from the same colleges as the previous generation, but who are working much less desirable jobs. There is a systemic de-skilling of the Filipino community in which the primary beneficiary is the US, and in which the US corporate media and corporate-driven pop culture are complicit. This large-scale de-skilling of an entire population would never be acceptable to white Americans, but is so palatable that it is a punchline in a TV show. That is racism on a systemic level.

    Ugnayan ng mga Anak ng Bayan condemns ABC and the staff of Desperate Housewives for being complicit in the problems that plague our community and for perpetuating systemic racism. We support the initiative of so many in our community who are taking action on this issue and urge all to sign the online petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/FilABC/. We will take action if ABC does not heed the demands of the Filipino community.

    Ugnayan vows to continue the struggle of Filipino youth and all Filipinos against systemic racism; and to fight for the genuine development of our community and for the life and liberation of the Filipino people as a whole.

    Demand an apology from ABC!
    End systemic racism!

  5. pinay MD says:

    Personally, I think it reflects her character’s supposed ignorance more than it insults Filipinos. Besides, Teri Hatcher is part Filipino on her mother’s side. It wouldn’t make sense for her to insult her own people (partly). If fans of the show take the line literally, it shouldn’t have to be our problem as Filipinos, either. Ignorance exists, period. We just have to deal with it. Mga Pinoys talaga, lagi exag. Inferiority compplex at work nanaman.

  6. IM doc says:

    The filipino doctor has a big reputation in the medical field worldwide…not only in the states. Please spare the filipino physician from mockery coz the problem of fake diplomas is more of adminstrative problem and political…

  7. AR says:

    The comment made was insinuating that Philippines medical schools produces incompetent healthcare professionals. The comment she made proves that ignorance. There are many, many American doctors in the U.S. that practice with fake licenses, and we do hear about them on the news. I think Filipinos healthcare professionals are very passionate, and competent about their jobs. Filipinos take pride on what they do. That value is instilled in them.

  8. Rodd C. says:

    that’s a very racist comment on behalf of Teri Hatcher and ABC. I’m Filipino and for a fact that we know that a lot of good doctors comes from the Philippines. I don’t know how did ABC let that line get into air, they are degrading all of the Filipino doctors that found their way here in the US. We have a lot of succesfull doctors that’s been working here for such a long time, with that comment that’s being watched worldwild, its going to start degrading Filipino doctors and their knowledge for medicine. The show treated all Filipino as “dumb” and cannot be trusted with your health. I work with a Filipino doctor, I can tell you one thing my doctor is one of the few doctors that focuses a lot of time with her patients and their needs. She is loved and cared for by all of her patient. I won’t trade her for anybody. I trust her with my life and my health and so does my family.

  9. diego says:

    pure racism,period. i never heard of the word racism or experience it when i was in PI, but here in US it’s all over.if your accent is different, they will laugh at you. have we laugh when an americans or british talk? hindi ko naman nilalahat, may mabuti rin sa kanila.

  10. jon says:

    i think what they meant by ” make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines.” is an exact hit on the quality of the doctors being produced by filipino med schools. Its far from the fake diploma issue…aiiissshh.

  11. Terrence Lee says:

    No, it’s not about the fake diplomas here in the Philippines. The line really meant that med school here in our country is low standard. And that is too much. Stop defending the show or even Teri Hatcher, that line was produced to ridicule us, Filipinos. It means that she doubts Filipino medical practitioners in the Philippines. We deserve an apology.

  12. nazi like says:

    watch family guy! nandun si ricardo isang baklang pinoy. hehehehehehheheheh!

  13. NIDM says:

    sa lahat ng nakakakilala kay lt. balasubas! basubas watever!.anu ngaun ang masasabi mo lt. balasubas! basubas watever! pilipino kp rin b? cgurado hindi na! ikinahihiya mo n ang mga pilipino! ipagyabang mo ngaun yang pagttrabaho mo sa us! matapang k lng kac magaganda ang mga gamit mo pro pag wala yan cgurado duwag k!

  14. yvette says:

    It only shows how ignorant and illeterate those white Americans are. Besides, I think Filipinos and American guys will prefer to see the not wrecked and not smelly vaginas of Filipinas in general, as compared to their over exposed smelly large ones!!!!

  15. tinna says:

    i love teri hatcher! i like her style!

  16. Solan Camara says:

    I think the comment is insulting but not worth all the fuss. I for one never liked “Desperate Housewives” (it’s such a shallow show), so I figured they’d get around to saying something stupid one of these days.

    It is nice, though, to see the Filipino reaction to this comment. Possibly, our colonial mentality is melting away. Maybe we should actually “thank” Teri Hatcher for helping us see how our “Big ‘Kano Brothers” sometimes think of us…as a joke.

    However, a word of encouragement. In the Middle Ages, England occupied the same position the Philippines does today. Now it has one of the strongest currencies and the hottest actors. So just wait…we only need time.

    However, please, no reverse racism. One stupid comment doesn’t change EVERYBODY from that country.

  17. pingis says:

    welcome to reality… american bitches and dogs do that as they please if its the other way around you are a terrorist.

  18. Ben Brillantes says:

    I found an interesting perspective on the subject from another Filipino blog here:


    Some food for thought to digest, certainly.

  19. Ben Brillantes says:

    Yes, I think I have to agree with what this guy says on his blog:


    I will end my commentary on the whole issue by simply asking why we
    think it is perfectly alright for us to do this:


    and this:


    and even for one of our most respected politicans to say this:


    but when anyone dares to poke fun at a segment of our population like this:


    everyone immediately cries racism and discrimination?

  20. r2roMD says:

    I’m a filipino doctor and I refused to examine Teri Hatcher’s vagina.

  21. wow, what a comment from Teri Hatcher
    racism and discrimination insist? well we have to show more/we deserve an apology from her.


  1. [...] Teri Hatcher doesn’t want her vagina examined by doctor from Philippines [...]

  2. [...] following an uproar over a controversial line delivered by Teri Hatcher’s character in this premiere episode of Desperate Housewives’ season 4, wherein medical schools in the Philippines were [...]

  3. [...] Teri Hatcher doesn’t want her vagina examined by doctor from Philippines [...]

  4. [...] Teri Hatcher doesn’t want her vagina examined by doctor from Philippines [...]

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