Note from BW of Brazil: On the blog a few days ago, there was a story about accusations of racism against Brazil’s most popular, most powerful TV network, Globo, because its latest prime-time novela featured a total of 56 characters, none of which were black. In a country like Finland that may not be as big a deal, but in a country where African descendants are the majority of 200 million citizens, this makes no sense. Apparently, the protests did some good. But in reality, not by much. Here’s how the update was reported.
After criticism, Amor à Vida novela hires black actress
Groups on the internet said they were discriminated against by the absence of black characters in the novela
After receiving criticism from internet groups and being accused of racism, the novela Amor à Vida will features a new character, played by a black actress. The information comes from the “Outro Casal” column written by Keila Jimenez, in the Folha de São Paulo newspaper
Ana Carbatti will become a part of the cast in the coming weeks portraying a doctor, a role that didn’t exist in the original synopsis. In 2002, she played Eneida, in the novela Coração de Estudante. Her most recent work was on Lado a Lado (2013), in the role of Zenaide.
Earlier this week, internet users began to mobilize against the novela, creating campaigns in which they accused the novela of racism. They said they were discriminated against because there are gays in the novela, and until then, no blacks.
Carbatti Ana was born in Rio de Janeiro, on November 6, 1969. As an actress she has interests in television and cinema. Her career began in 1999, on television. She started at the same Globo network at the center of the latest controversy, and participated in the novela: Força de Um Desejo (Force of a Wish). In 2000, she appeared in the novela Laços de Família (Family Ties). In 2001, she appeared in: Estrela Guia (Guiding Star). After 2002’s Coração de Estudante (A Student’s Heart), she played in the 2006 miniseries, JK, which was based on a biography on the former Brazilian president, Juscelino Kubitschek. In 2007, she played in another miniseries, Caminhos do Coração (Pathways of the Heart) and in 2011, in another novela, Insensato Coração (Foolish Heart). In 2012 the actress took on the Zenaide character in Lado a Lado.
Ana’s film credits began in 2001, with Minha Vida Em Suas Mãos (My Life In Your Hands) and followed that up with 2002’s, he made Last Zweig. In 2003, she worked on: Quanto Vale Ou É Por Quilo (How Much It’s Worth or By Kilo). In 2009, she played in: Os Inquilinos (The Tenants).
Note from BW of Brazil: OK, so Globo has added one black actress to the set of this novela. Is this really any reason to celebrate? After all, while this may be the network’s most blatant example of white supremacy and black invisibility, this network and Brazil’s other TV stations have long vastly under-represented the Afro-Brazilian population in a clearly visible “dictatorship of whiteness“.
With the recent release of the Portuguese edition of the 600+ page Manning Marable book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Malcolm X: Uma vida de reinvenções), about the iconic, slain human rights activist, in this situation it would be fitting to consider one of Malcolm’s most famous quotes: “When someone sticks a knife in my back nine inches and then pulls it out six inches they haven’t done me any favor. They should not have stabbed me in the first place (Quando alguém enfia 9 polegadas de sua faca nas minhas costas, e depois tira 6 polegadas, não me fez nenhum favor. Em primeiro lugar, ele não deveria ter me esfaqueado).” With that in mind let’s just say that after decades of its humiliation and invisibility of the black population, Globo has a long ways to go to undo the symbolic violence inflicted upon black Brazilians, and one black face in a sea of whiteness doesn’t even begin to address this denial of existence.