CBS' Madam Secretary is a US TV series where actress Tea Leoni plays the title role of fictional US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord.
The first episode of the show's third season is set to be aired on Sunday, March 12, but it has already stirred up some controversy. The teaser for the episode, titled Break in Diplomacy, shows Leoni's character punching the fictional Philippine President Datu Andrada, who is played by actor Joel de la Fuente. Apparently, the Pinoy character had made advances towards McCord.
The Philippine embassy in Washington DC didn't like that particular detail. In fact, the embassy has expressed its dismay in a letter addressed to CBS and released to the media on Tuesday, March 7.
In the letter, the embassy pointed out: "In view of the injurious effects that this program will have on the interests of the Philippines and the Filipino people, the Philippine Embassy urgently calls on CBS to take the necessary corrective actions."
It continued, "While Madam Secretary is a work of fiction, it tracks and mirrors current events. It is, therefore, inevitable that its depiction of world leaders will have an impact on how its audience views the real personages and the countries they represent."
In closing, the Philippine embassy further noted: "This highly negative portrayal of our Head of State not only casts doubt on the respectability of the Office of the Philippine President but also denigrates [the] way our nation navigates foreign affairs. It also tarnishes the Philippines' longstanding advocacy for women's rights and gender equality."