We all have personal favorites when it comes to actors and actresses, and for various reasons. We also have such “artists” that we don’t care for. Personally, on my “don’t care for” list is Alec Baldwin. His acting may be OK, but I find that I simply cannot stomach his political bend. Also, he has had some bad publicity in terms of his dealing with his daughter a year or two ago while he was going through a divorce with the girl’s mother.
On May 12, 2009, Alec appeared on the David Letterman show, “Late Night.” During the show, Letterman and Baldwin got into a discussion of Baldwin’s marital problems in the past. Alec Baldwin made a statement. Baldwin told Letterman that he would love to get married again, and hoped to still have more children as well. As the discussion progressed, Baldwin joked with Letterman saying that he was “thinking about getting a Filipino mail-order bride… or a Russian one.”
A lot of people talk about “mail order brides.” Frankly, honestly, there is no such thing as a “mail order bride”. This is really not a subject I want to get into, because I try to avoid this on this site, but I will mention it briefly before moving on to another aspect of this event. Think about it. “Mail order” – it implies that you can pick up your phone, or send off a letter with your order, enclose a check or pay by credit card and a few weeks later the UPS man will show up at your house with your new bride. Come on, brother… no such thing exists! There are introduction services where men and ladies can meet each other. Why is it if a Filipina and an American man meet each other through such a service, it is called “mail order?” If a man from Kansas meets a lady from Florida, people say they met online. She is not said to be a “mail order bride.” But, if the same thing happens between a man from Oregon and a lady from Cebu, it’s all controversial and she is an object that he has purchased? That is just crazy! No such thing can happen, and there is no such service where you pull out your credit card to pay for your order. An American man meeting a lady from somwhere else in the USA is no different from an American meeting a Filipino.
Now, after Alec Baldwin said this, I heard nothing about it. I didn’t see the show, and the statement, to my knowledge never got into the media here in the Philippines. Until today. Maybe it was yesterday and I did not read about it until today. This morning, though, I read a newspaper article about the statement.
Apparently, Senator Bong Revilla, a former Action Star in Philippine Movies, picked up on the statement, and it angered him. He has come just a step short of threatening Baldwin with violence over the statement, saying that it is uncalled for and insensitive toward Filipinos. Revilla said that if Baldwin should ever come to the Philippines, he will see “mayhem,” inferring that there may be violence against the actor.
Now, like Revilla, I don’t like the use of the term “mail order bride.” Since no such thing exists, why even use the term. Also, why is it termed that only when two people from different countries meet, and in a way that has actually become very conventional.
If I were Revilla and I wanted to “slap” Alec Baldwin for being insensitive to Filipinos, I think a much better argument would be what I have said. Revilla could say “My, I didn’t realize how uninformed Baldwin is, doesn’t he realize that no such thing exists? People all over the world meet through introduction agencies or on the Internet these days, what is so unconventional about that?” Such a statement would then make Baldwin look stupid, or at least ignorant. But, threatening him with violence only garners more support for Baldwin, even if only out of sympathy for him.
I am tempted to say that this whole thing is a “non-issue,” but as I think about it, I do feel there is an issue here. Problem is that neither Baldwin nor Revilla understand what the real issue is.