Your Lying Eyes

Dedicated to uncovering the truth that stands naked before your lying eyes.

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04 October 2007

You Can't Say That on TV?

You can't joke that a doctor with a degree from a medical school in the Philippines is not every bit as good as one from an American medical school. Desperate Housewives learned that lesson this week. I wonder if the script's first draft had the character dismissing degrees from Guadalajara?

Is there any way you could include such a joke in a sitcom? Sure. In the show, Terri Hatcher, doubting her OB/Gyn's competence after pronouncing her to be in menopause, asks to check his diplomas on the wall "just to make sure they aren't from some school in the Philippines". Far too offensive to Filipinos everywhere. But with a little tweak, you could still pull it off. For example, these would work:

"I want to make sure your medical degree is not from ..."
"...Apartheid era South Africa"
"...Chile under the Pinochet regime"
"...Kim Jong Il's North Korea"
"...Libya under Qaddafi - not the new co-operative Qaddafi, but the old, you know, terrorist Qaddafi."

So it's not like you can't make any jokes about other peoples and places. With a little geo-political savvy, you can still pull off snappy one-liners like those above without causing offense to anyone that matters.


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