GOSSIP GIRL: Comedian Empoy Marquez experiences racial discrimination in Paris

Published November 16, 2021, 7:36 AM

by Giselle Sanchez

Alessandra and Empoy in Paris

It’s been five months since comedian Empoy Marquez has updated his vlog. Dubbed as the “most handsome leading man on TV 5” by his “Nina Nino” teleserye leading lady, Queen Majesty of TV5, Maja Salvador, both appeared in Empoy’s last vlog where he has 457,000 followers.

The vlog was funny and entertaining with the title “Never Have I Ever” where the comedian revealed to Queen Maja that he pooped in his pants during elementary and confessed that when he used to work as an employee before he won the Mr. Suave contest in a television noontime show, he would always be in a hurry and not brush his teeth.

Since we are together in TV 5’s primetime family teleserye entitled “Nina Niño,” I asked him why he hasn’t updated his vlog. “Na-busy kasi ate Giselle. Nag-shoot kami ni Alessandra ng movie sa Paris. Kaya nawala rin ako ng matagal dito sa Niña Niño but now I’m backs!” Empoy delightfully tells Gossip Girl.

This will be the comeback movie of the successful loveteam Allessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez after their successful “Kita Kita” last 2017 which is up to now the highest-grossing Filipino independent film of all time.

It was shot in Japan and this time around they will be shooting all their scenes in the beautiful city of Paris, France. My follow-up question was why didn’t he shoot a vlog in Paris. “I tried my best, but I guess my best was not enough, Ate Giselle. Nag-shoot po ako doon tapos sinagawan ako ng isang Parisiano parang pulis ata siya o guard kasi naka-uniporme, sinita ako at sinabi, ‘hey hey hey’, are you Afghan?” (I tried to shoot my vlog, but a Parisian stopped me, he looked like a policeman or a guard because he was in uniform, after stopping me he asked if I was Afghan.) I asked him how he answered because that is racial profiling and blatant discrimination, and he answered, “I said, no, of course not, I’m Malaysian…… Joke lang ate Giselle. Natakot po ako, di po ako nakasagot, kaya umalis nalang po ako. Bumalik nalang po ako sa hotel. Simula noon, di na po ako masyado nagpapapasyal ng mag-isa. Lalabas lang po ako kasama ng grupo o kasama si Alex. Konti nga lang po pictures ko kasi natakot nako mag-shoot baka masita pa uli ako.” (I answered, no, of course not, I’m Malaysian…… I’m just kidding ate Giselle. I got scared, I couldn’t answer, I just left and went back to the hotel. Ever since that time, I wouldn’t go out alone, but I would go out with our group or with Alex (de Rossi).”

Parisian police are really known for profiling minorities. The Open Society Justice Initiative reports that police officers in Paris consistently stop people on the basis of ethnicity and dress rather than on the basis of suspicious individual behavior. The report documents over 500 police stops over a one-year period.

The data show that Black people were between 3.3 and 11.5 times more likely than whites to be stopped; while Arabs were stopped between 1.8 and 14.8 more times than whites. The Open Society Justice Initiative recommends reforms such as – 1) an explicit ban on discrimination by police official, 2) law and policies that would disallow ethnic profiling, 3) stronger criteria for the “reasonable suspicion” required to stop persons.