Emmy Hosts Call Out Hollywood For Never Having Filipino Nurses on ‘ER’

This year’s Emmy Awards show was marked by outlining Hollywood’s progress, or lack of enough, in the department of diversity, leaving audiences everywhere with some memorable but truthful lines.

Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson led a musical number that poked fun at Hollywood’s progress (or the lack of it) on the issue of diversity in the opening of the 70th Emmy Awards show.

“We solved it/We got with the times/There’s room for all of our voices but mostly Shonda Rhimes,” the hosts sang in the song-and-dance spectacle titled “We Solved it!”

The number is apparently a way of the show to acknowledge the industry’s tendency to pat itself in the back whenever it seems to have made the littlest improvements regarding the issue.

Recognizing that the long way American studios need to go, host Michael Che drove the point further home during his opening monologue with co-host Colin Jost by dropping this truth bomb:

“TV has always had a diversity problem I mean, can you believe they did 15 seasons of ER without one Filipino nurse? Have you been to a hospital?”

(See the joke at around the 6:18 mark in the video below)

It is no secret that there are thousands of Filipino nurses currently working in the United States. A report by AJ+ last year pointed out that Filipinos make up 20% of the nursing force in California while making up only 4% of the state’s population.

Audience members who laughed at the joke probably then realized the absurdity of this fact which some have long pointed out. 

“I’ve literally been telling that joke about Filipino nurses and ER since I auditioned for ER back in 1997,” Filipino American actor Erick Esteban posted on Twitter.

“I’ve tweeted about the lack of Filipino nurses in US medical shows so many times. Glad it finally made it as an Emmy joke. Now please take it seriously now, Hollywood. #TimesUp,” ABS-CBN Entertainment reporter Yong Chavez wrote in a tweet.


“There are also 15 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy – based in freaking Seattle where Filipinos are EVERYWHERE & Filipino nurses dominate – and the show never had one Filipino nurse!” Filipino author EJ Ramos David tweeted, calling out Grey’s Anatomy, another popular medical drama.

Filipinos in the medical field, however, did get this memorable callout in the form of an insult from “Desperate Housewives” back in 2007:

Later in the awards show, Filipino-American actor Darren Criss received his first Emmy Award for portraying infamous serial killer Andrew Cunanan on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”

Featured image via YouTube/Television Academy

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