MANILA, March 8 The Philippines embassy in
Washington has chided broadcaster CBS Corp and demanded
"corrective actions" against what it said was a trailer of drama
"Madam Secretary" that featured a Philippine president making
inappropriate advances on a minister.
In a letter to CBS, the embassy complained of a "highly
negative portrayal" it said "tarnishes the Philippines'
longstanding advocacy for women's rights and gender equality".
A 20-second teaser uploaded on YouTube, which went viral in
the Philippines, shows a U.S. Secretary of State, played by Tea
Leoni, punching a fictional Philippine president and giving him
a bloodied nose, after his improper behaviour towards her.
Reuters could not immediately verify if the clip originated
from CBS and did not receive any immediate response to a
telephone call and email to CBS for comment. The trailer did not
appear on its YouTube channel or its website dedicated to the
But a preview of the forthcoming episode on the CBS website
said the character played by Leoni is shocked when "the
Philippines unconventional new president makes a pass at her".
Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte, who took office eight
months ago, has often been described as unconventional, as well
as volatile, mercurial, unorthodox and foul-mouthed.
He has also been characterised as Asia's version of U.S.
President Donald Trump.
Though Duterte is a self-confessed womaniser and has been
criticised for making lewd comments and occasionally
wolf-whistling at women, his supporters point to how many of his
policies are geared towards gender equality and promoting and
recognising women in important roles.
Duterte's spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said that if CBS wanted
to make such a portrayal of a president, it could have looked
closer to home.
"They're projecting something that they really would like to
say about their own situation," he said on Tuesday. "Really, I
think they should use a fictional U.S. president."
(Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)