CBS TV Show ‘Madam Secretary’ Punches ‘PHL President;’ Malacanang, PHL Embassy in US React

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WASHINGTON/MANILA – (via PhilAmPress) —  An American television series has drawn reactions from the Philippine Embassy in Washington and Malacanang in Manila for allegedly negatively depicting “a Philippine president.”

“Madam Secretary”, the CBS show on its fifth episode for its third season, “Break in Diplomacy,” shows the eponymous character, US Secretary of State Dr. Elizabeth McCord, decking the fictional president of the Philippines Datu Andrada (played by actor Joel de la Fuente) after he makes a pass at her, according to a report.

According to the episode’s summary, McCord defended herself when Andrada got physical after making verbal passes at her during a meeting where he refused to renew an Asia-Pacific territory treaty.

A Malacanang spokesman said that the show should have instead used a fictional US president.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington wrote CBS Corp. to strongly protest what was described as highly negative depiction of a character purported to be the Philippine President in the next episode of TV series “Madam Secretary,”

“I think they are confusing their images. I think they are projecting something that they really would like to say about their own situation. Really, I think they should use a fictional US president,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said during a Palace briefing.

In the US, President Donald Trump has been criticized for his remarks and inappropriate advances against women.

However, Abella did not make a categorical comment when pressed if the Palace found the show’s trailer insulting.

“Well, they engage in something that they would like to… It’s their business. It’s their craft. You cannot deny them their craft. Their taste, perhaps,” Abella said.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington has already written to CBS Corporation to strongly protest the negative depiction.

“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,” the embassy wrote.

Network officials and producers of the show have yet to comment on the issue.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman and Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said, “our embassy formally asked CBS to rectify the bad impression and make the necessary corrective action.”

The episode is scheduled to air on Sunday, March 12, 2017.


“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.”

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