Lee Da Hae clarifies the misunderstanding

Lee Da Hae clarifies through her Twitter account what must’ve been a misunderstanding on her takeoff of English accents. She explained:

First I’d like to give you my sincere apologies for what seems to be a misunderstanding.
It has come to my attention that many of you from the Philippines have posted comments protesting that i was being derisive by mimicking Filipinos when they speak English.
Therefore, in light of this matter I’d like to take this opportunity to clear the air.
In spite of what many people believe, I myself did NOT mention anything
about the Philippines or Filipino accent whilst on the TV show.
On the other hand I recall bringing up Southeast Asia and not the Philippines and the subtitles were inserted when the show was being edited of which I was not aware of until it was aired.
Read the full explanation here.

Some of us do have an accent. There really is nothing to be ashamed of. Even President Noynoy Aquino joked about this when he gave a speech in front of 5,000 teachers last month.

Like one commenter said, one of the few decent jobs we could get here in Korea is English teaching. That’s why a lot of those married to Koreans teach the language whether it’s their major in college or not. Some of us came from provinces where the people’s accent is quite thick (or like in my province where we sometimes don’t say the /h/ sound). We (Filipinos here in Korea) are usually discriminated (in teaching jobs) because of that. Lee Da Hae said that she “took English classes with a Filipino instructor.” I wonder if she learned the accent from her instructor. LOL
By the way, someone in PEX posted this impersonation of Filipino accent at 1:33. She nailed it!


  1. I’m glad she issued an apology. While the damage has been done already, I hope that she has learned a thing or two about the incident and will be more careful and sensitive next time. Now where’s the apology from the TV station???

    1. Many people in other threads also demanding for the apology of the hosts and some people also said that she doesn’t even sound apologetic but rather throwing only a lame excuse. I think she should apologize on national tv since she did that on Tv.

      1. i agree with you…and the station should also apologize for this matter……it shows that they really did make fun of our accent…if she says that she did not specifically mention the Phil. but SEA, so she should apologize to all SEAsians…..having an accent is part of who we are….it is like having mangoes while others have apples, grapes etc…so why laugh at someday who only has the mangoes? do we have laugh at them too because they have kimchi?

  2. I saw the video as well as her letter of apology. She said that she didn’t mention anything about Philippines or Filipino accent, but the host (shin dong yup) did. The host mentioned “Philippines sangsaengnim”, it means ‘Philippine teachers or Filipino teachers”, and so she knew the fact that they were talking about Filipinos or Philippines.
    So Lee Da Hae stop making excuses about what you already did, Filipinos aren’t stupid to buy your excuses. In my opinion, your apology isn’t accepted. Take full responsibility for your action. Laugh as much as you want now, funny isn’t it?

  3. bakit siya nag apologize sinabi lang niya ang totoo. aminado naman tayo na mayroon tayong thick accent kaya defensive. wake up call ito sa ating mga guro na di lamang correct grammar ang ituro kundi pati tamang pronunciation as per california accent not the irish or scottish brogue nor slow drawl ala lousiana native nor texas nasal twang not even brit cockney or even worst aussie accent. she’s a lovely lady who didn’t lie. why apologize she did nothing wrong in my book.

    1. I don’t wanna argue but, you didn’t think theres really need to apologize to, don’t you? If thats our accent well ok fine, but the way how she told people and deliver it, is a clear mock, come to think about it when they mentioned the american and british accent they showed their amazement but when Ms.Lee mentioned the “as you said our accent” they BURST INTO LAUGHTER!!! Okay I also think this as a wake up call because they laugh on us.Let’s make things better and prove them wrong!

    2. For me, if it’s an american who discriminates our accent, I can accept it. But a discrimination coming from a native korean, duh? that’s kinda’ insulting, knowing that majority and i mean MAJORITY of their people doesn’t speak english and if they do it’s definitely broken english. And the way she speak it in british accent is NOT even british accent. Her imitation of the filipino accent sounded more like a chinese accent. And when she said that she is actually imitating southeast asian accent, for me that is BS. Lame excuse.

    3. i have that same opinion with you dude. Korean students care so much about the accent, they pay the ESL teachers, so give them what they need.

      1. Yeah! they really care much on pronunciation…thats what im telling my korean friends too that grammar is more important but they keep insisting that if they have a good pronunciation they will have a good enlish …Bahala na nga sila!

  4. It is easy to insult and easy to issue an empty apology. Yet the Philippines flag was displayed, the host specifically mentioned “Pilipin” and you Lee da Hae without any hesitation gave it your best shot. You are a lousy human being and a two faced liar. You have lost the love, goodwill and support of your Filipino fans.

  5. pls disregard my previous inquiry, just found ur other article regarding this.. watched the video and her imitation of Filipino accent sounds more like Chinese…

  6. In this era of globalization, we all need to be more sensitive and tolerant about other nations. And Korea, being a developed nation, should start behaving more sensitively towards other nations. Like what I mentioned in a previous post, some Koreans have a feeling of superiority over their Asian neighbors, especially Southeast Asians. When it comes to Filipino English teachers, they don’t care if you’re a licensed teacher, that you have a master’s degree in English or education or that you have many years of teaching experience. That’s all good and you might get the job – with less pay of course than your white counterpart and with the students and parents forever questioning your credibility everyday that you work. But they would still prefer a less qualified white English teacher. And I specifically did not use the term “native” because between a white native English teacher and a non-white native English teacher (like someone who is of African-descent or Asian descent born in the US/Canada/UK/Australia/NZ/South Africa) with all their teaching qualifications being equal, they would still prefer the white English teacher. Which is why some teachers from Romania, Ukraine or Russia who are not native English teachers yet have white skin, blond hair and blue eyes get hired as English teachers. Yeah, it’s a racial mess. But I’m hoping that things will change. That’s why I think that if we feel that we’ve been offended as a nation then we should speak up about it. How can there be change if we don’t say anything about it and act like it’s okay when it’s NOT OKAY? Filipinos are so understanding and they don’t want to rock the boat. Iniinsulto na, nakangiti pa rin at sasabihin na totoo naman eh. Kaya tuloy naaapi sa ibang bansa. Kawawa naman. Now for some Koreans who have never travelled abroad, I can understand how they can have wrong preconceptions. But for Lee Da Hae who has lived in another country and claims to have had a Filipino English teacher, I hold her to a higher standard and I expected more from her.

      1. Q: Do people really demand for more??? I mean Filipino sansengnim in S.Korea, demanding for sincere apologize from Ms.Lee?People from some threads do, because they said Ms.Lee didnt apologize yet.
        –Like what Pres.Noy said “theres no reconciliation without justice!”
        “That’s why I think that if we feel that we’ve been offended as a nation then we should speak up about it. How can there be change if we don’t say anything about it and act like it’s okay when it’s NOT OKAY?” I like this part!!
        I just want to share this to you all from one of my favorite Author.
        “Keep an open mind, be tolerant of the rights of others to believe what they believe,but if what they believe violates the laws of God/ or man. I encourage you to be intolerant!Tolerance is a reflection of character.When we tolerate the wrong things, it is an indication of a flaw in character — Zig Ziglar

  7. I’m not comfortable on the idea of demanding an apology.
    When Hong Kong writer Chip Tsao described the Philippines as a “nation of servants” in an opinion piece. Filipinos demanded an apology and got it from Chip Tsao himself and the publication. The writer even went to the Philippine consulate to apologize. But despite the apology, the Immigration blacklisted the writer short of declaring him a persona non grata. Sometimes we can be very vindictive.
    While we Filipinos are onion-faced to unfavorable remarks especially with regards to our modern-day heroes, our OFWs, we are as capable of being insensitive to other cultures. We make fun of the Japanese being “sakang and supot” and the Singaporean men being “hipon.” And quite recently, a member of the VISITING Philippine delegation in Vietnam, an Assistant Secretary in the Aquino administration, described in a tweet that the wine served by the HOST at a banquet “sucks.” The erring official apologized and received absolution from no less than the Philippine President. She is “young” and “could easily make mistakes,” the President said in an attempt at rationalization. Remember too the bungled hostage rescue. Despite the tragedy, our police had the gall of posing for pictures with the bus as background, and the President smiling while inspecting the bus.
    We are as capable of being insensitive. We must demand more from ourselves and our own leaders and not from foreigners. Respect afterall is EARNED.

    1. Hi Marc! Yup, that’s why we are hypocrites. She already apologized and yet we demand more. Our priorities are misplaced. We could forgive (and forget) politicians who stole — and are still stealing — from us and even put them back to their powerful positions in the government and yet we couldn’t accept an apology from one foreign actress who isn’t aware that we are too sensitive ;p
      IMO, the joke that Pnoy told in his speech in front of the teachers is more insulting and inappropriate and yet they laughed at it. I don’t get it.

      1. HAy naku, lambot natin tlga. Kaya d umaasenso bansa natin. Strong ang personality ng mga korean kaya tingnan mo mas asenso pa cl sa atin. Tayo, konting apology lang, ok na. I cannot compare this with the politicians in the Philippines. Sa pinas gnun na talaga environment, whether you like it or not, wala ka magagawa… that’s why young generations are seeking for change.

        1. True yk. Malambot nga ang personality natin, kaya konting kindat lang natutusok na tayo. Feeling natin buong pagkatao natin eh bina-barbecue ;p

          1. I think that’s another case. We can be sensitive with our personal matters and its our choice up to what extent khit magwala ka pa ok lang. Kahit feeling mo sunug-na sunog na ka na, people will shut their mouth kc personal na buhay mo yon. But this is a national issue kaya inulan cy ng mrming comments. . Yes, we accept her apology and who are we not to forgive her, pero on the side of the pinoys, we need to stand as one. Nag-iisa lang tlga c Jose Rizal…

      2. Betchay, I too feel that our priorities are misplaced.
        I fear that our sensitivity may prevent us from confronting the real issues.
        In 2007, Filipinos demanded (and got it) an apology from ABC for a Teri Hatcher character on Desperate Housewives “slandering” Filipino medical practitioners. The character asked for the gynecologist for a “diploma” as she wanted to make sure that it (the diploma) is not from “some medical school in the Philippines.”
        This may have been offensive especially to the hardworking Filipino medical practitioners. BUT our SELECTIVE memory forgot that months before the controversial Desperate Housewives’ episode, a more vexing issue confronted the Philippine medical field: the issue of LEAKAGE on the Philippine nurse licensure exam. Could it not be that the Hatcher character only reflected “doubts” at that time over the capabilities of Filipino medical practitioners because of the controversies surrounding the licensure exam?
        The real problem perhaps is not the slander from the Hatcher character but the CHEATING in the Philippine licensure exam.
        Filipinos are proud to be good in English. Read the Philippine newspapers and you get a sense that Filipino workers are “preferred” by foreign employers because of English capabilities. Perhaps it is true. (Though I doubt it considering that employment is price sensitive. It is not the English capability but the cheap labor in us that we are preferred FOR NOW.)
        Even if we take the statement that Filipinos are “good” in English as true, some humility is still in order. After all, that we Filipinos speak “good English” is a mere ACCIDENT in history. Thank you Uncle Sam?

        1. @marc: I believe that the comment made by Teri Hatcher about med schools in the Philippines was very inappropriate and very insulting to Filipino medical professionals in the US. Let me share a personal story, I’m a nurse here in the US and before I got a job here, I had to take and pass the CGFNS, TOEFL, TWE, TSE and NCLEX exams. Of course, I also had to take the local Philippine Nursing Licensure exams prior to all that. After graduation, I was reviewing in a review center for months prior to taking the local board. At the end of the review, just a day before the exam, we attended a mass to pray for the upcoming exams. After the mass, we got word that the co-owner of the review center wanted to speak to us, the reviewees, for last-minute instructions. At the meeting, the co-owner of the review center, who happens to be a nurse, a professor and our reviewer for the subject of ETHICS informed us that they have access to some of the test questions for the upcoming board exams and if we are interested, they will give us those questions (for a fee of course). I was SO DISAPPOINTED. I, and several of my other co-reviewers WALKED OUT. We didn’t want to hear anymore. Some people stayed. But for most of us, we worked hard during the review and we wanted to prove to ourselves that we can pass on our own. For myself, I wanted to be sure that I am fully equipped and ready to be a nurse by passing the board exams on my own without any tips or leakages. If I fail, then that just means I’m not ready to be a nurse yet. Sure cheating happens. But we all have a choice. So personal choice yun nung mga tao na na-involve sa cheating. As for me, I chose not to cheat and I’ve worked hard to get to where I am. And many other nurses and doctors have done the same thing…many are honest at nagsusumikap para sa profession nila. So yeah, nakaka-insulto para sa akin ang comment ni Teri Hatcher. Kung may problema ang sistema sa Pilipinas, dapat mag-umpisa ang pagbabago sa bawat isa. Magkakaroon ba ng leakages if there’s no unscrupulous board member who wants to make money kahit na illegal at kung walang examinees na bibili ng leaked test questions??? May corruption dahil may mga tao na selfish, greedy, walang disiplina, desperado at walang moral values.

  8. Well it would have been acceptable if it was an American or British who had criticized our accent. But coming from someone like Lee Da Hae…who does she think she is?!

  9. It’s n0t an apology. It’s an excuse. Sa naintindihan ko s xcuse nya, klngan dw syang mag-c0me up ng s0mething nkktawa kya gnaya nya accent ng SEAsians pro ung h0st ng sh0w minenti0n s0mething ‘b0ut filipino teachers so alam nya at aware sya na ang pinagtatawanan ay Filipin0 accent. Sana gnaya nya n lng ung sarili nyang accent db. Nkkatawa din nman. Moral less0n: Tignan m0 muna sarili m0 bago m0 pagtawanan ang iba at bka mas nkktawa kp. lol

  10. We Filipinos are too sensitive and too defensive. That’s the fact. Just read all the comments here and its obvious. If Koreans make fun of our accent in general, that is because that’s what they perceive and what they observe in most situations. The only legal Filipinos who can work here in Korea as English teachers are those people married to Koreans. Majority of which became accidental English teachers (majority of which without a good command of the English language, accent etc), so what do we expect? A small percentage of them can really teach, but the numbers are not enough to change the perception in general.

  11. @arvinsign I agree very well with your comments. We should accept the fact to avoid hurt feeings. Most of the comments are too depensive…really obvious. Peace mga kabayans!

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