What probably was just an offhand comment recently made by American actress Lucy Liu on a popular American talk show is now garnering mixed reactions from Filipino netizens.
Liu, widely known here for her role in the defunct TV series “Ally McBeal” and in the “Charlie’s Angels” films, appeared in the Oct. 11 episode of “The Late Night Show with David Letterman” to promote her upcoming show, "Elementary." Letterman voiced out his observation that the actress looked “great” and “in shape” as soon as she took her seat, prompting a discussion about her fitness regime.
Asked if she “run[s] on a machine or do you run outside,” Liu replied, “I run on a machine. It’s just easier for me, I think. Also if I get really dark, I’ll start to look a little Filipino. It wouldn’t match. You know what I mean? I start getting darker… you know what I mean?” The actress further stated that she “can get really dark if I’m in the sun too much.”
Not surprisingly, a number of Pinoy netizens have taken offense to Liu’s remark and immediately alleged it “racist.” On YouTube, user Mohammad Tagtag stated that he’ll “never watch any of your movie...lucy! I!!”
On Twitter, user @RodelMend asked, “Why Not Ms Liu?” while @hapadawg said, “why because #pinays actually have class?”
Others attacked Liu’s persona directly, with @joelquiz posting, “I woke up a bit crossed eyed. Ugh, I look a little Lucy Liu,” and @NatGarcia110182 saying, “Maganda ka eh! Ode ikaw na!”
But there are those who thought Liu’s remark was a non-issue. In the same microblogging site, @cerahhernandez dismissed it as, “Not a big deal, really.”
Taking note of some Filipinos’ obsession with skin whitening, Twitter user @SophiaAbella said, “I don't see how this is offensive when all we have in tv commercials are whitening products,” while @kebsbin added, “Actually Lucy, most Filipinos don't either want to look "a little Filipino". Thus, the skin whitening fad.” @dont_tell_lsh lightheartedly shared the same sentiment, “Bawal magreact ung mga nagpapaputi jan ah. LOL!”
@OMNOMNOMNUMNU opined, “i don't get all the negativity involved. some people flip too easy,” while @ esjayrama observed, “sos, we are too sensitive :/”
Meanwhile, @KyerPeregrino opted to look at the brighter side of things, saying, “what[‘s] somewhat positive about this ved (video) is she`s aware of us Filipino[s]…”
By JULIEN MERCED C. MATABUENA