President Joseph Estrada of the Philippines, a former movie star, said he believes Hollywood actress Claire Danes should be banned from entering the Philippines for having disparaged the country's capital.
"She should not be allowed to come here. She should not even be allowed to set foot here," Estrada said Thursday in reaction to a decision by Manila's city council Tuesday to declare Danes "persona non grata" and ban all her movies from being shown in the city.
In an interview in Vogue magazine in April, Danes described Manila as a "ghastly and weird city."
More recently, she was quoted in Premiere magazine as saying Manila "smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over, and that there is no sewerage system, and the people do not have anything - no arms, no legs, no eyes."
Danes, who appeared in the movies Romeo and Juliet, Little Women, and The Rainmaker, was in Manila for several months early this year to shoot scenes for the movie Brokedown Palace. Most of the sequences shot in Manila were done inside a dilapidated hospital.
"Her remarks were uncalled for," Estrada said.
Councilor Kim Atienza, principal author of the resolution and a son of Manila's mayor, said the ban will continue indefinitely until Danes makes a public apology. The council passed the resolution 23-3.
Last week, Danes said in a statement that she meant no disrespect to Filipino people.
"Because of the subject matter of our film Brokedown Palace, the cast was exposed to the darker and more impoverished places of Manila. My comments in Premiere magazine only reflect those locations, not my attitude towards the Filipino people. They were nothing but warm, friendly, and supportive," she said.
Atienza dismissed the statement as an "excuse made by Hollywood press officers and not a genuine apology."
"We are not hard to appease, but we know if an apology is true or not," he added. "We will lift the ban only if we are satisfied."
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