Focus on the Philippines: Is new show Alyas Robin Hood a ripoff of US series Arrow?

Also: President Duterte against Steve Harvey hosting next Miss Universe; and Nigella Lawson visits Manila, raves about adobo.
Dingdong Dantes. Courtesy GMA Entertainment
Dingdong Dantes. Courtesy GMA Entertainment

A new television show produced by Philippine network GMA has been accused of copying the hit American action series Arrow.

Last week, GMA released the trailer for their forthcoming drama series titled Alyas Robin Hood. The trailer which has now garnered over a million views, features popular actor Dingdong Dantes, dressed up as crime-fighting archer.

The video quickly began trending on social media, with several fans pointing out the show’s similarities with Arrow, the series out of the United States starring actor Stephen Amell, who plays a character inspired by DC Comics’s Green Arrow, a costumed vigilante who fights crime with his bow and arrow. The show premieres its fifth season in October.

Amell himself shared the video on Facebook, his post accompanied by a flushed-face emoji. Asked by a fan what he thought of the show, the 35-year-old Canadian actor replied: “I mean, I have no idea what it is and frankly, I don’t care – at all. But boy, oh boy does it look familiar.”

Amell’s Filipino fans were quick to offer their apologies to the actor. “Well this is embarrassing,” read a post from Vonn Flores. “Sorry for that, Mr Amell. Our TV networks in PH have no originality.”

Suzette Severo Doctolero, a creative consultant on Alyas Robin Hood, defended the show, pointing out in a Facebook post that no one holds the copyright for the character of Robin Hood, who she said has inspired several other superheroes, including Green Arrow.

“DC Comics does not own the colour green, the bow and the arrow. They don’t own the copyright to Robin Hood – it’s public domain — so why should we apologise?” she wrote.

In a statement, Redgie Acuña-Magno of GMA Entertainment said: “Robin Hood has had different reincarnations or versions in different countries. What we are now seeing here is a modern version of Robin Hood, an adaptation of a universal figure made inspirational and relevant to the Filipino audience.”

Alyas Robin Hood is scheduled to premiere on September 19. The series features the ensemble cast of Megan Young, Andrea Torres, Jaclyn Jose and Sid Lucero. The show can be watched worldwide, including in the UAE, on the international network GMA Pinoy TV.

President Duterte against Steve Harvey hosting next Miss Universe

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is apparently displeased with the plans for American presenter Steve Harvey to return as host of the forthcoming Miss Universe pageant, which will be held in Manila on January 30, 2017.

Harvey hosted the Miss Universe 2015 pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada, last December and he mistakenly crowned the winner as Miss Colombia’s Ariadna Gutiérrez instead of Miss Philippines’s Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Harvey later apologised for the blunder.

Prior to the incident, Harvey had reportedly signed a five-year contract to host the pageant. According to Department of Tourism secretary Wanda Teo: “When I told the president about that, he was immediately negative about it. He said: ‘No way.’ That’s what he said.

“He said he was going to talk to the Miss Universe Organisation and tell them that it shouldn’t be Harvey,” Teo added.

Teo said that due to Harvey’s contract with Miss Universe, he would likely remain as host. “But, so the president will not get mad, we may add a female celebrity from the Philippines to co-host.”

Wurtzbach did not directly address Duterte’s comments, but this week posted on social media a photo of Harvey and herself from last year’s pageant.

“@IAmSteveHarvey let’s do it again and change someone else’s life,” wrote Wurtzbach, who posted from the official Miss Universe Twitter account. Harvey promptly replied: “Can’t wait, let’s do it.”

Nigella Lawson visits Manila, raves about adobo

British food writer and presenter Nigella Lawson delighted her Filipino fans with a surprise visit to Manila this week. Her posts on social media indicated she had a newfound liking for Philippine cuisine. On Instagram she posted a photo of the Filipino dish adobo – meat marinated with garlic, vinegar and soy sauce – with the caption: “Love Filipino food.”

She also raved about sisig, a dish made of chopped meat, fish or tofu roasted with spices in a sizzling hot pan. “Thank you Marion and Eugene for introducing me to the joys of sisig!” she posted, referring to local chef Eugene Raymundo and his sister Marion, who were showing Lawson around Manila.

The renowned foodie was also spotted drinking fruit shakes and coconut juice at the Salcedo Market, a weekend gourmet food market in the city of Makati. A bestselling author, Lawson, 56, recently appeared as a celebrity judge on the eighth season of MasterChef Australia. She also hosts her own cooking show, Simply Nigella, on BBC 2.

Published: September 7, 2016 04:00 AM


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