The 30 Rock-Filipino Connection
Around 10pm last night, I got a text from a friend asking me if I caught the new episode of 30 Rock. Another possible Filipino reference.
In search of Christmas presents for his family, Tracy Jordan goes to Yakov’s Nubian Bling Explosion. Noticing a “one of a kind” gold chain, Tracy discovers the “EGOT” chain. Worn by Philip Michael Thomas, of Miami Vice fame, it was produced in hopes of becoming the quadruple entertainer threat by winning the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. Tracy being Tracy, buys the chain and wears it throughout the show in hopes of his dream of getting an “EGOT”.
Some might be wondering why the hell a connection to Filipinos is being made… In Filipino slang, the term “egot” is derogatory term short for “Igorot”. The term “Igorot” has negative connotations because of it’s use as a racialized and colonized name ascribed to indigenous groups in the Cordillera region of the Philippines. Because of the dark skin that is associated with “Igorot” groups [the more PC term would be to identify the specific tribal names (ie: Ifugao)] Filipinos used “Igorot” as a demeaning term for any individual with darker skin. Being that many Filipinos possess a colonized mentality that devalues darker skin color, “Igorot” or more specifically, “egot”, might be considered to be a Filipino equivalent to the “n-bomb”.
Another thing to consider is that in the show “EGOT” was an acronym, used on the show to appropriate a negative word for something else. This gets one to think about the acronym of “Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished” which flipped another derogatory term. A stretch? Perhaps. But it’s worth noting.
Coincidence? Considering the controversy that ensued when Jack Donaghy made a joke about Filipino mail order brides and the numerous other Filipino references, there has to be some sort of Filipino connection to the television show.
A Filipino writer?
I’ve been scouring the internet almost all night trying to find some information that would prove this to be the case. My research turned up unfounded.
Or maybe the writer’s just have some Filipino friends. Maybe that would explain the giant fork and spoon that hangs in Liz Lemon’s office:
*Update: A Facebook response in regards to the term “igorot” from Sharon:
“Igorots do not have dark skin. They are actually fair and Filipinos in the low land areas envy their pinkish/reddish cheeks. The negative stereotyping of Igorots has more to do with “savage” practices that others associate with them until now (such as head-hunting especially with the Bugkalot tribe). Never was it on skin color. The indigenous group in the Philippines that were “racialized” because of dark skin is the Aeta, Ita, Dumagat.“
Also, I came across this piece from PinoyLife, Tracy Morgan Wears an EGOT Necklace on National TV. Apparently Tubbs actually had dreams of obtaining an EGOT back in the ’80s. Though, even with this, I think it’s still too coincidental that there’s so many other references. I mean, giant fork and spoon?