Responding to an uproar on social media over its plans to produce a comedy about a Filipino mail order bride, NBC has announced its pulling the plug on the show.
The show titled Mail Order Family was based on the true life story of creator Jackie Clarke’s own father who bought a mail order bride from the Philippines to raise his two preteen daughters. The couple would later get divorced after discovering he had another secret family in the Philippines.
In a commentary on AsAmNews, staff writer Zara Zhi wrote:
Despite the depressing nature of Clarke’s family history, it is being made into a “family friendly” sitcom by a major television network.Not only does the show encourage racist and sexist Asian stereotypes, it also normalizes an industry that violates the human rights of women and children.
Human trafficking is no laughing matter. The men who order brides from undeveloped countries are exploiting the situation of destitute and desperate women.
While the women are seeking financial security, the men who purchase them are often seeking obedient, subservient wives.
The show which had been in development by NBC was roundly condemned on social media and the bloggersphere. Several Asian American organizations also got involved in the controversy.
Just yesterday, Asian American Advancing Justice said “NBC’s announcement of a new show in production called Mail Order Family is a leap backward in the depiction of Asians and Asian Americans on television. As one of the few television shows either on air or in production to feature Asian Americans, it is an outrage that NBC has chosen to address the plight of mail-order brides and human trafficking as a family comedy.
“Instead of a thought-provoking documentary, drama, or real-life program about the exploitative nature of the mail-order bride industry, Mail Order Family trivializes the predicament of women who are bought and sold into the sex slave trade or into abusive relationships with men they’ve often never met.”
18 Million Rising also chimed in with the hashtag #CancelMailOrderFamily.
“Human trafficking and the exploitation of Asian women is no joke,” the group said. “It’s a violent, racist system that exploits vulnerable, predominantly Asian women. There are over 36 million victims of human trafficking worldwide and nearly two thirds of that number are from Asia. The fact that millions of Asian women and adults are forced into bonded labor, sex trafficking, and slave like conditions is not fodder for a comedy sitcom.”
A protest outside NBC Universal in Los Angeles which had been scheduled for October 4th by Nafcon SoCal has been cancelled.
AsAmNews is an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/asamnews, following us on Twitter, sharing our stories, interning or joining our staff.