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Alec Baldwin's 'RP mail-order bride remark' irks senator


ONE PINAY BRIDE, PLEASE. Actor Alec Baldwin says he'd have to order a Filipina bride to have another kid. AP File Photo
MANILA, Philippines – First, it was Filipino doctors. Then, Filipino house helps. The Philippines was even called a “nation of servants." Now, Filipinos engaged in the illegal mail-order bride scheme are the latest subject of a purported racial slur. Veteran Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin is the latest addition to a somewhat growing list of personalities blurting out comments that usually end up being perceived as a racial attack against Filipinos. In his May 12 interview on The Late Show with David Letterman, Baldwin – a divorced father of a 13-year-old girl – expressed his desire to extend his family and have more children. "I’d love to have more kids. I’m thinking about getting a Filipina mail-order bride at this point or a Russian," said Baldwin, who has been hailed both by the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for his comedic role in the hit television show 30 Rock. Seemingly delivered in jest, Baldwin’s remark caused the audience to break into laughter and prompted the show’s host, Letterman, to respond: "Get one for me [also], for later." But while his remark elicited laughter among the audience, a Philippine lawmaker – after learning about it – was not all smiles over the 30 Rock actor. Sen. Ramon Revilla called Baldwin - former husband of Kim Basinger - as an "arrogant" celebrity who spoke out a remark that was "insensitive and uncalled for." "For him, it is funny but to the millions of Filipinos, it is mockery. Bad joke, not worth of laughing," said Revilla, himself a celebrity in the Philippine movie industry. Revilla warned Baldwin against making comments about topics he has no complete knowledge of, like the global scheme of mail-order brides. "Being a celebrity, Baldwin should be more prudent in issuing statements. And he must know what he is talking about. Apparently, he is not aware that here in the Philippines we don't tolerate mail order bride schemes," Revilla lamented. Facilitating or arranging a marriage between a Filipina and a foreigner is prohibited under Republic Act 6955 of the Anti-Mail-Order Bride Law of 1990. Violators face imprisonment of between six to eight years, and the payment of a fine between P8,000 and P20,000. A foreign national caught engaged in such a scheme will also be meted the same penalties then deported and barred from entering the Philippines for life. Revilla said that in case the American actor indeed finds a new woman for a wife, she would definitely be in jeopardy. "Kahit sino pa ang magiging bride nito, malamang na mamalasin. [Whoever becomes his bride will certainly be doomed]." The Philippine senator said he only has one message for the veteran film and television personality: "Subukan niyang pumunta dito sa Pilipinas nang maghalo ang balat sa tinalupan [Try going here and you’ll see mayhem]." Baldwin’s “predecessors" in the racial slur department include Teri Hatcher – whose character in the ABC hit show Desperate Housewives questioned the skills of Filipino medical practitioners - and Hong Kong-based columnist Chip Tsao, who called the Philippines "a nation of servants" shortly after the controversial Philippine Baselines Bill was signed into law. The British Broadcasting Co (BBC) also went under fire after one of its comedy sitcoms portrayed a Filipina domestic helper as someone who would gyrate to her employers to please them. After insistent opposition from lawmakers and concerned Filipinos, Tsao, the ABC and BBC all issued their respective public apologies. - GMANews.TV