Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ms. Earth USA, Nicole Kelly's Negative Remarks about the Philippines

The negative comments about the Philippines and the Filipinos by Ms. Earth USA, Nicole Kelly, which she posted on Facebook  brings to mind the Claire Danes controversy in 1998. Ms. Claire Danes came to our country to film "Brokedown Palace" and most of the scenes of her shoot were filmed in poor areas of Manila.  She was quoted in Vogue Magazine as saying that Manila was a "ghastly and weird city"  and in Premiere Magazine that Manila "smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over, there is no sewerage system, and people do not have anything-no arms, no legs, no eyes."

Nicole Kelly (Left) is said to be the new Claire Danes (Right)

Danes apologized and said in a statement that her views reflected only the poor areas. She stressed that Filipino people "were nothing but warm, friendly, and supportive" during her stay in the country.

But too late. Her comments stung and taken very seriously by the Filipino people. President Erap Estrada reacted, condemned her and prohibited her films to be shown in the Philippines.

In June 2010, celebrity friend, Cosmetic Queen and TV icon, Yue Sai Kan of China, invited me to the Shanghai Film Festival.  She told me that Claire Danes, Oscar winner Adrien Brody, beauteous Michelle Yeoh, were among the celebrities coming. She asked me to interview Claire Danes but I declined, telling her about Ms. Danes' nasty comments about our country and the controversy she caused.

On June 11, 2010, I met Claire Danes in Ms. Kan's posh apartment in Shanghai and the introduction went this way:

"Claire, this is my friend Mayenne Carmona, a journalist from the Philppines Star.  You were supposed to have said something negative about her country. Can you talk to her about this!"

Ms. Danes was charming and friendly and very apologetic about what happened.  She was with her husband Hugh Dancy who supported her every step of the way.

She said, "I am really sorry about that incident. I will never dream of hurting people that way. I was only 18 then and.." at this point her husband interrupted and said, "She is 31 now and more careful about her words." ( something to this effect ...)

I asked her, "you mean you only saw the poor side of Manila? They did not bring you to the Makati area, to our nice malls, hotels, villages with world class houses, beautiful resorts, etc..?"  She shook her head sadly and said she only saw the poor areas because that was where they were filming.

I saw her again the next day during the Gala premiere and we were seated next to each other during the dinner party after the Gala. I did not notice any snobbishness about her and she seemed really a down -to- earth kind of lady.

I dismissed the incident as the carelessness of youth and if that was the impression she got about our country, it is what she saw during her shoot in the squalid areas of the city. The people around her should have shown her the beautiful parts of Manila to show her a different side of our city.

As with the new controversy:
Ms. Earth USA, denies the allegations. She claims her Facebook Account was hacked and that it was not her who posted those nasty remarks. She apologizes about the hacking of her Facebook but not about the comment. Here is the link of her comments which is now causing a big stir on Twitter, Facebook. Her denials are not believed by many Filipino netizens.   

In a party in Shanghai.  Claire Danes was apologetic about her alleged nasty comments of Manila. Husband Hugh Dancy listened

During Gala Night, Claire Danes was chic in a red Zac Posen gown and I wore a Patrice Diaz Ramos tiered lace gown accentuated by a pina shawl from Ditas Sandico Ong

Yue Sai Kan, celebrity icon of China, invites me yearly to the Shanghai Film Festival. She is lovely in an haute couture red Valentino gown

Adrien Brody won an Oscar when he was only 29 for his role in pianist. He is the youngest Oscar winner to date

Michelle Yeoh is one beautiful lady 

Claire Danes impressed me as a sincere and down- to- earth regular kind of girl


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