Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Harry Enfield: offensive sketch: Filipino Maid

Fact: More than 3000 Filipinos leave the Philippines daily to find work overseas and to send remittances home to their families. Most of these workers are women.

Fact: Overseas Filipino women often find themselves in modern day slavery and are subject to abuse, sexual assault, and broken work contracts.

Fact: Sketches that mock Filipino maids or any domestic workers as sexual objects and demean their human worth are not entertaining and should apologize for their racist imagery and jokes.

False: This kind of entertainment is acceptable.

If you are not aware of the high rate of Filipino women who work as domestic helpers all over h world, look at the results here on YouTube when you simply search "Filipino Maid," and find an endless list of womyn trying to find employment.

1 comment:

  1. crossroadsvirgil6:43 PM

    Hi there,

    At the risk of being controversial, I really don't think this sketch was mocking Filipino maids, to say that it was seems to miss the point. I'll admit that it was possibly over the boundary of good taste and it is open to misinterpretation.

    The sketch is one of a series of sketches about a family of a particular social class who have a 'northerner' as a pet. The point of the series as a whole is to satirise a certain set of attitudes in a certain segment of the British population. Most pointedly, it makes fun of the way that some middle class people in the south of England talk about and behave towards people from the North of the country.

    The sketches all involve the 'northerner' being treated as one would treat a household pet. As such the family in the sketches treat northerners as less than human. But it is not northerners who are the target of the humour.

    Similarly in this sketch, it is not domestic servants who are being mocked but rather those people that hire them but treat them as less than human.

    Satire is a rather over used defence for these days for saying inappropriate things, but I think this really is a case of satire.

    It would seem a shame to dismiss this kind of humour, when it is really making precisely the sorts of points with which you would agree.

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