Madam Secretary Panel
The last episode of “Madam Secretary” Season 3 featured Elizabeth (Téa Leoni) punching the Philippine president. Pictured: Morgan Freeman, Tea Leoni and Tim Daly attend the 2014 Television Critics Association Cable Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills on July 17, 2014. Reuters/Kevork Djansezian

“Madam Secretary” Season 3, episode 15, titled “Break in Diplomacy,” focused on the characters’ encounter with the president of the Philippines.

While at the White House, Elizabeth (Téa Leoni), Russell (Željko Ivanek) and President Dalton (Keith Carradon) watched a video of Philippine President Datu Andrada (Joel de la Fuente) declaring that his country was done “living in the shadow of the United States.” The trio knew that this will affect the Singapore Interchange, so they decided to counter Andrada.

Elizabeth flew to Manila to meet Datu. She started the conversation by congratulating him for his victory. However, he cut her off by saying that he was aware that Dalton supported his opponent during the campaign.

READ: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs justifies extrajudicial killing by planting drugs and weapons

Elizabeth was not the type to give up easily, so she offered Datu military hardware to make his country more powerful. However, he simply responded by mocking her, saying he finds women talking about drones sexy. When Elizabeth decided to leave, Andrada groped her behind. Instinctively, she punched him on the face and left him with a bloody nose.

TV Fanatic pointed out that the lines criticizing and analyzing Datu were the highlights of the episode. Elizabeth described the character as weak and insecure, so he had to bully his way into power and force himself on women. She added that Datu lacked policy ideas.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government did not like how its president, Rodrigo Duterte, was presented on the show. “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,” the Philippine Embassy said in a statement, Independent reported. “It also tarnishes the Philippines’ longstanding advocacy for women's rights and gender equality.”

The Philippine embassy in Washington previously sent a letter to CBS to show its protest against the character and to urgently call for “the necessary corrective actions,” ABS-CBN News reported. The producers of the show and CBS have yet to comment on the issue, but Leoni reacted to the backlash by tweeting, “Funny, I had someone else in mind… #relaxduerte.”

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