Over the past few days, the Filipino community has been brewing a storm over Episode 4 of the ‘Harry and Paul’ show. It contained a short sketch featuring a Filipina maid which some people found offensive enough to start a petition.
I don’t watch the show but caught the clip via the BBC iPlayer service. Personally, I think that the those complaining missed the real butt of the joke and that the issue was being blown out of proportion.
It was not the Filipina maid who was being mocked. The target was the British class system and culture. The skit ridicules stereotypes of the dim-witted Northerner and the pompous upper middle-class Englishman. What you see in the ‘Harry and Paul’ comedy series are typical examples of British self-deprecating and satirical humour.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines satire as:
“the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”
You will find that this explains the comedy series perfectly. The same episode similarly pokes fun at Americans, South Africans and Russians, but above all, it mocks the latent stupidity within British culture.
Folks, this show is about British people laughing at themselves, not Filipinos.
As a community, we cannot overreact at every hint of perceived offence to our culture. We have more important things to be concerned about, such as the foreign national ID card. The National ID card and National Identity Register are serious intrusions into our right to privacy and freedom. For more information, please see no2id.
Edit: I’d just like to point out that these are my views. I’m not speaking on behalf of the Filipino community or anyone who is or has been associated with Phil-UK.
Here’s a clip showing the sketch: