Posted: 1:54 am ET
According to rappler.com, from July 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017, there have been over 7,000 deaths linked to the “war on drugs” in the Philippines – both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style or unexplained killings (including deaths under investigation). Photographer James Nachtwey did a series In Manila Death Comes by Night. Local photographers are also documenting Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines. On March 6, the National Geographic’s Explorer started its 10th season with Episode 1 highlighting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent war on drugs.
Meanwhile, in the fictional world, Madam Secretary is scheduled to air an episode entitled “Break in Diplomacy” on March 12. In the trailer below, the series’ Secretary of State, Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni), is seen throwing a punch at a character Datu Andrada, the purported Philippine President in the show. Apparently, after the fictional Philippine President makes a sexually suggestive move at Secretary McCord during a private meeting, she punched and bloodied his nose. We have it in good authority that Secretary McCord did not/did not try to wash President Andrada’s mouth with Lifeboy soap.
On March 6, the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. issued a statement protesting the um, “highly negative depiction” of the Philippine President in the episode.
The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. wrote to CBS Corporation today, 06 March 2017, to strongly protest the highly negative depiction of a character purported to be the Philippine President on the next episode of the TV series Madam Secretary.
The trailer of Season 3 Episode 15 “Break in Diplomacy” shows the character – described in the episode’s synopsis as the “Philippines’ unconventional new president” – exhibiting inappropriate behavior towards the female lead character, US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord.
The episode is scheduled to air on Sunday, 12 March 2017.
While Madam Secretary is a work of fiction, it tracks and mirrors current events. It is, therefore, inevitable that its depiction of world leaders will have an impact on how its audience views the real personages and the countries they represent. This highly negative portrayal of our Head of State not only casts doubt on the respectability of the Office of the Philippine President but also denigrates that way our nation navigates foreign affairs. It also tarnishes the Philippines’ longstanding advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality.
In view of the injurious effects that this program will have on the interests of the Philippines and the Filipino people, the Philippine Embassy urgently calls on CBS to take the necessary corrective actions.