Chinese streaming platform iQIYI has removed television drama Make My Heart Smile from its service in the Philippines over a scene that social media users have criticised as offensive and racist.
The 24-episode Chinese-language series, which premiered on February 6, contained one scene in which a female character tries on clothes at a store. A male character then dismisses her outfit choices, remarking that she “looks like an aunt”, and then, “You look like a Filipino maid”.
Watch the clip below.
this is not a mistranslation he said, "像菲佣" 佣 means servant/maid and Filipino is 菲律宾人 so "菲佣" means Filipino servant why some of the replies keep on excusing this racist drama pic.twitter.com/vJP5SFW84P https://t.co/mlU3HPkSHx
— ً (@riothyunsuk) February 9, 2021
On February 10, iQIYI Philippines addressed the controversy on Twitter, saying the “offending scene” had been brought to their attention. The service added, “This is not OK and we have edited the scene out. We are sorry.”
It has come to our attention that there is an offending scene in the show “Make my Heart Smile.” This is not ok and we have edited the scene out. We are sorry.
— iQIYI Philippines (@iQIYIph) February 10, 2021
When the edited episode was re-uploaded onto the streaming platform, several viewers continued to voice their displeasure at the situation. One user remarked: “The harm is already done. People were already offended. The show had time to write and edit the script, edit the scene before airing but they did not.”
Editing the scene out will not make it any better….
The harm is already done. People were already offended. The show had time to write and edit the script, edit the scene before airing but they did not. https://t.co/nKRaEV1Yjq
— maq⁰³²⁷(ia) (@be_a_blink) February 10, 2021
iQIYI revealed in a statement to ABS-CBN on Tuesday (February 16) that the show has since been removed from the platform entirely.
“It is not our intention to offend and upset our Filipino subscribers and we are sorry. The show has been removed from the platform and we are continuously working towards making sure that incidents like this do not happen again,” the platform said.