NBC Makes Fun Of Filipina Mail Order Brides: Facts About ‘Mail Order Family’

NBC Makes Fun Of Filipina Mail Order Brides: Facts About ‘Mail Order Family’
Flower Susanne Nilsson/ Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The TV giant NBC has recently announced one of its upcoming shows, ‘Mail Order Family’, which tells a story of a white man widower who ordered a Filipina mail-order bride to help raise young children.


But the network was on the receiving end of online flack after some sectors took offense on the show’s theme and story, including Asian-Americans, especially those with Filipino ancestry. The show, from the writer-producer Jackie Clarke, was loosely based on Clarke’s family story, Deadline reported.

‘Mail Order Family’ Online Outrage

Although it’s a comedy show, the idea of trivializing the plight of mail-order brides did not sit well with many. Apart from that, the story of ‘Mail Order Family’ touches a highly sensitive issue of racial divides that continue to be a major area of debate in the country and the global concern on human trafficking.

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The show is produced by Clarke, along with Ruben Fleischer—the same duo behind another NBC hit show Superstore—just basically drew the ire of many Asian-Americans who took to social media to express their displeasure with the NBC’s upcoming show.

Racial Stereotypes

The progressive group The Nerd of Colors, have nothing but disgust on NBC’s newest sitcom, noting on its website that the show diminishes all the progressive work that many have fought to counter the Asian stereotypes and racial equality in the U.S.

The group emphasized the show’s lack of Asian representation on its crew, making loose portrayals of the plight of Asian in the U.S or in any foreign land for that matter. This, according to the group has further contributed to the stereotypes that target Asians instead of promoting a racially sensitive show.

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“For one, with the series listed as a family comedy, it is endorsing the concept of mail order brides and marketing it as a positive characteristic of a “kooky” family. Human trafficking of a woman to be married off to a man she doesn’t know should not be a laughing matter,” the group lamented.

Although it may seem an underground business for many, the mail-order bride is actually allowed in the U.S since 2005 and has been regulated by the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, (IMBRA), the FindLaw reported.

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  • Chris J

    I can see how this is a sensitive issue. I’m not sure how to take it, honestly. Many white foreigners, not just Americans, marry Filipinas and live HERE in the Philippines. Is it ‘trafficking’ if the American moves to the Philippines and gets a ‘mail order husband’, so to speak?

    It is not uncommon to see May-December marriages here between white men and Filipina women. I am married to a Filipina myself, but we met when we were both under 30 and have been married now into retirement. It’s accepted here, for better or worse, to see these relationships. Not all are horrid relationships, or exploitative. Believe me, I’m not advocating for human trafficking and can see the local Pinoy population viewing the show as supportive of human trafficking. Except that here, well…all marriages, cross cultural or otherwise, have their problems.