Derek Ramsay, Coleen Garcia speak up on ‘Ex With Benefits’ med rep plot issue

MANILA, Philippines – Ex With Benefits stars Derek Ramsay and Coleen Garcia said they are not generalizing the profession of the medical representatives in the upcoming movie.

This, after some from the industry expressed dismay about how their profession was depicted in the trailer released over the weekend. (WATCH: Derek Ramsay, Coleen Garcia in 'Ex With Benefits' trailer)

In an interview with bloggers and online reporters at the blog conference held in Cabuyao, Laguna, Tuesday, August 18, Derek and Coleen asked viewers to give the film a chance. 

In the movie, Derek and Coleen play Adam and Arkisha, who break up then meet again years later, both juggling successful careers. Adam is a doctor, and Arkisha is a med rep. But things get complicated when their past catches up to the present, and both realize that old feelings aren't completely out of the way. 

'No disrespect'

"There are some reactions that we are disrespecting the line of work that med reps do, but ideally anything in life, before you assume anything, you should get as much information as you can. And sana, these people with no disrespect to them, would give us the chance to show that we are not disrespecting them. We have complete respect for their work," Derek said.  

"The hardest part is they have to gain the trust of the doctors out there. And so sana they give us a chance and say their piece after the movie," he added.

Coleen said that she understands where they are coming from.

"I understand naman why they got offended. I have been reading some of the threads so I could see and I could be well informed…you know where everyone’s coming from. And I understand, and the thing is the story is not about a doctor and a med rep. They may be a doctor and a med rep but it's really about two exes getting back together and been through ups and downs and it’s really about their story more than that.

"It just so happens really that they are a doctor and a med rep. So it is really more about the character flaw of my character… it’s something that she’s been through the past that’s gonna be the way that she is. Parang it’s not to say na all med reps are like that because I myself am against generalization. I don’t like generalizing people based on their profession, based on anything.

"So I believe we are all different and I think about Arkisha [my character], what makes her different are the things that she went through the past. And if you guys watch the movie, you’ll see that she’s been through a lot, and understand kung bakit siya naging ganun (why she became like that)," Coleen added.

On the 'duty' scene

After the press conference, Coleen also spoke about one of the scenes that may have offended real-life med reps.


"When I read one of the reactions that’s where naging klaro sa akin (became clear to me). One scene I said that bothered him was when my character Arkisha said duty lang to or I did my duty to an extent, right after a love scene. So I understand and iyon pala itsura niya kasi kami, we know the whole scene is and alam namin kung saan nanggaling, saan ang pinanggalingan niya so alam namin that’s not what we mean.

(So I understand and that's how it looked – because for us, we know the whole scene and that's not what we meant. And we know where we're coming from, where it came from so we know that's not what we meant.) 

"But if that’s only the part you see, then it’s easy to assume. Just to be clear 'yung duty na iyon (the duty term) is a term, it’s actually a code name that Adam and Arkisha, our characters, have been using even since they were in college long before he was a doctor," Coleen said.

Coleen is referring to a scene shortly after the love scene shown in the trailer. Earlier, her character Arkisha, a med rep, is told that to be med rep of the year, she must earn the endorsement of doctor of the year – Derek's character, Adam.

Later on, the two meet up, but afterwards, Arkisha says that she "did her duty" – and "cuddling is not included." 

Many who work as medical representatives were displeased by the portrayal of the profession through Coleen's character, Arkisha. 

Here are some opinions aired by social media users, who also posted copies of a letter asking the MTRCB to review the trailer:

#ikawayisangmedrepkung strongly disagree with this storyline, we do our job with utmost professionalism #RespectforMedreps #ExwithBenefits A photo posted by juvmvinas (@juvmvinas) on Aug 15, 2015 at 8:46am PDT

Stop the showing of this movie as it gives a bad image to Medical Representatives. #ikawayisangmedrepkung #exwithbenefits @StarCinema — Josell Jeffrey (@joselljeffrey) August 15, 2015

#Exwithbenefits might destroy the reputation of us #ikawayisangmedrepkung — Juv M. Vinas (@juvmvinas) August 15, 2015

#exwithbenefits #respectformedreps @StarCinema @ABSCBNChannel2 @ABSCBN @ABSCBNNews — Kim A. Tañalas (@iamHOTKIM) August 16, 2015


Ex With Benefits, directed by Gino Santos, also stars Meg Imperial, Carmi Martin, Rayver Cruz, Tirso Cruz III, Kitkat, Juan Rodrigo, Nina Ricci Alagao, Jobelle Salvador and Mengge Cobarrubias.

Will you be watching the film? What do you think of the issue? Let us know in the comments below. –