SANDIWA- NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF FILIPINA/O AMERICAN YOUTH RECOGNIZES APOLOGY OF BALDWIN BUT DEMANDS AN END TO ANY INSULT TOWARDS FILIPINA WOMEN.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reference: Ryan Leano, Secretary General, SanDiwa National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth
email: sandiwa.national@gmail.com

SANDIWA- NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF FILIPINA/O AMERICAN YOUTH RECOGNIZES APOLOGY OF BALDWIN BUT DEMANDS AN END TO ANY INSULT TOWARDS FILIPINA WOMEN.

SanDiwa- The National Alliance of Filipina/o American Youth acknowledges Alec Baldwin’s apology with the recent derogatory jest he made but demands an end to any insult to Filipina women. During the May 12th interview at the Late Show with David Letterman, Baldwin, expressed that he would like to have more children, and was quick to add that he was “thinking about getting a Filipino mail-order bride at this point…or a Russian one.” Followed by Letterman’s response, “Get one for me, for later.” This dialogue reflects the mainstream media’s tendency to underrate the Philippines and the Filipino people. Baldwin has recently posted an apology and the Filipino community is still demanding one from Mr. David Letterman.

But while many are angered by the actors’ jests, their comments have provoked the Fil-Am youth to look at the problem at a grander scale. “The thought of a mail order bride is degrading, but it also speaks a lot about the current state of the Philippines. Alec Baldwin, a famous & rich American actor, even commenting about getting a mail order bride from the Philippines juxtaposes the world’s most powerful country with one of the poorest. It’s a tragedy, the homeland needs help, and it’s coming through social commentary. In the end it’s sick, but it’s a very true reality,” says Margarette Anne Galeon, former president of the International Filipino Association at NYU.

These comments are an affront to Filipinas who are prone to being typecast as sexual commodities readily available at one’s disposal. These Filipinas range from professionals to those forced into domestic and sexual labor in order for them and their families to survive the immensely impoverished conditions in the Philippines.

Though SanDiwa recognizes Baldwin’s apology, we also emphasize the added insult to Philippines’ overwhelming injury— its impoverished conditions have forced poverty-stricken Filipinas to engage in prostitution and/or become mail order brides. The sad reality of this type of inter-country marriages likely leads to cases of domestic abuse, and human trafficking. Which is why this insult must end with Baldwin and Letterman’s statements.

This is not the first time Filipina/os have been devalued on in the mainstream media in a negative light. Do not forget, in the mid-1990s, Filipinas were mentioned as mail-order brides in an episode of Fraiser. In 2007, the validity of Filipino doctors was belittled and denigrated in an episode of the American sitcom Desperate Housewives. Further, Filipina maids were “comically” portrayed as sex entertainers in the British comedy show Harry & Paul in 2008.

After several negative portrayals of Filipina/os in mainstream media, Fil-Am youth and the larger Filipina/o community must unite to stop these insulting remarks.“ It must end at Baldwin’s comment, as an alliance that is committed to (re)educate, celebrate, and advocate for issues that affect our Filipina/o communities in the United States and in the Philippines, SanDiwa strengthens our commitment in addressing and ending the issue of negative and insensitive portrayal of our community in mainstream media. We will continue to work towards addressing what causes people in mainstream media to show and say such things—neo-colonial policies in the Philippines that give rise to poverty, migration, government corruption, human trafficking and human rights violations,” states Anne Beryl Corotan, National Chairperson of SanDiwa.

SanDiwa is a national alliance of youth, students, and community youth organizations, united to (re)educate, celebrate, and advocate for issues that affect our Filipino communities in the United States and in the Philippines. As an alliance, we seek to work cross-culturally in reclaiming our humanity and to work collaboratively with “other” minority groups to protect the rights and welfare of young Filipinos all over the United States.

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