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Filipino Director Erik Matti Is Under Fire for a Comment He Made About K-Dramas

He said K-dramas are "faux cinderella stories with Belofied actors whiter than white."
Filipino Director Erik Matti Is Under Fire for a Comment He Made About K-Dramas
IMAGE Facebook/Erik Matti; JTBC/Itaewon Class; TVN/Crash Landing on You
He said K-dramas are "faux cinderella stories with Belofied actors whiter than white."

Local movies and TV shows are "doomed." They have no future. That is the opinion of Filipino filmmaker Erik Matti, who says he bases this on the Top 10 Most-Viewed Shows on Netflix.

The streaming platform houses a wide library of Asian and Hollywood films and television series—including hit Pinoy shows from the small and big screens, plus several Korean drama series, a.k.a. K-drama.

Matti himself has two films showing on Netflix: Kuwaresma (2019) and Buy Bust (2018).

On April 16, 2020, Matti took to Twitter to make his observations about the popularity among Pinoys of the K-dramas on Netflix. According to the director, these K-dramas have "faux Cinderella stories" and "Belofied actors."  ("Belofied" is Matti's reference to the biggest beauty and cosmetic house in the Philippines, Belo Medical Group, where Filipinos often go to get lighter skin.)

He also notes that, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, viewers choose to watch love stories.

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His tweet reads: "The daily top ten most viewed on #Netflix shows us how our movies and tv are doomed in the future. K-drama galore. Faux Cinderella stories with belofied actors whiter than white. And it’s all about love in the midst of this pandemic."

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As of April 16, 2020, the Top 10 Most-Watched Shows on Netflix consist of K-dramas, Hollywood shows and movies, and Pinoy films, in that order.

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Out of the 10 shows, five are K-dramas: Hi, Bye Mama! (#2), Itaewon Class (#4), Crash Landing On You (#5), Fight For My Way (#7), and What's Wrong With Secretary Kim (#9).

In the Philippines, the top Netflix show is the old American crime drama Prison Break, while two Netflix Original series, Money Heist and Elite, are in third and 10th place, respectively.

The Netflix Original film, Love Wedding Repeat, is in sixth place, while Born Beautiful, the only Pinoy film on the list, is in eighth place.

In summary, as of mid-April this year, these are Top 10 Netflix shows and movies that Pinoys are watching.

Netizens Reactions

The director's tweet expectedly drew mixed reactions from netizens.

Some say that watching K-drama offers escape during the unfamiliar and unwanted period of quarantine.

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Some netizens have also recommended specific Korean dramas to Erik Matti, specifically Itaewon Class, which tackles "social injustice and racism"; and Hospital Playlist, which is about the "reality of medical doctors."

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Others believe the Filipino director has not really watched K-dramas. Otherwise, they say, he would not describe them as "faux cinderella stories."

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Some say they have gone to see Matti's films, but also still enjoy K-dramas.

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More ardent fans of Korean outputs, angered, tell the director that K-dramas are definitely better than his Gagamboy, the 2004 movie Matti directed starring Vhong Navarro.

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But then again, there are also a number who agree with Matti's tweet.

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In an earlier interview, Netflix Korean Content Vice-President Minyoung Kim talked about the popularity of K-drama on the streaming platform.

He said, "It's amazing to see how these Korea films and TV resonate with audiences around the world—from Korea to South East Asia and the Americas. By making it easy for people to watch films and shows from other countries, we can help them build empathy and develop a shared understanding of the world."

*This story originally appeared on Pep.phMinor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.

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