Erik Matti whines about K-dramas instead of rallying the local industry to step up

Thanks to this pandemic, people have more time in their hands to binge-watch on Netflix and the like without guilt.  After all, staying home is considered an act of valor these days, with the national government even threatening to do a Martial Law type of enforcement against people who err on quarantine protocols.  So this is a rare instance when you can simply sit back and do nothing but watch all day and come out of the ordeal feeling like you have done your share for your fellow men.

So it’s no surprise that Netflix and social media would take the top spot as the most time-consuming activities these days. And it’s also in Netflix that  Filipino filmmaker Erik Matti found information that made him rant on Twitter against K-dramas that have apparently taken a hold on the country as far as patronage and viewership is concerned.

According to reports that quoted his tweet, the director was not too happy about the dominance of Korean dramas among the Pinoy market. He went on to describe them as “Faux cinderella stories with belofied actors whiter than white”.  And went on to how could people watch things about “love” in the middle of a pandemic.

Had these tweet been done by a highly opinionated nobody like me on Twitter, it would have been totally fine. In the scheme of things, we all have our say on matters that do not have a great impact on the world with or without our precious opinions added to their existence.

But this is a Filipino director talking shop and making his thoughts known about international competition that we’re talking about here. And to be blunt about it, talking trash about the competition for outplaying you and blaming the consumers or the audience (watching “love stories” in the middle of a pandemic) for not supporting local fare is a defeatist, self-pitying stance that is not only counter-productive, but also comes across as garden-variety whining: It’s always somebody’s fault.

To be fair about it, a number of people on Twitter responded directly to Matti’s tweet, calling him out on his negligence to mention the deplorable quality of our local dramas. A Twitter user summed it up accurately:

I’d rather see kdrama that has sense and depth and tackles taboo topics that I can gain knowledge from than the topics of the dramas in the Philippines that would ALWAYS have kabit, barilan, patayan, sampalan, kidnapping etc. So you want us to watch Tagalog dramas? Give us better.

Perhaps the next time Erik Matti issues an opinion about how “bad” things are because the industry is being dominated by the international competition, it would be about stepping up and applying continuous improvement as work ethics instead of simply relying on credentialism and artistic integrity as ways to entice an audience.