Note from BW of Brazil: Yes Carnaval has been over for a few weeks now but the question for the rest of the year, as is a common topic on this blog, how many black women will find any sort of space in the world of the small screen? Or better yet, beyond the role of the maid or the mulata? Of course, we’ll just have to wait and see, but rest assured we will be watching!
Carnival’s over: and now, how many black women will be on TV?
By Jarid Arraes
During Carnival, a greater amount of black women on television is noticeable – starting with Globeleza, whose role is to represent the supposed “hypersexuality” of black women. The media Carnival finds in the figure of the “mulata” the ideal image to promote a party where sexuality enters as a flagship. However, regardless of the representation given to black women in Carnival after the festive period they simply disappear from the television.
You can count on your fingers of one hand the black actresses who have prominent roles in novelas (soap operas), series and other television programs, or even those that have presence in the commercials. When they appear, the names are always the same; black actresses who achieve prominence on television are the few always known and almost all meet the standard of “mulata” sold by the media. They are all young, with fine facial features and slim bodies, so that they don’t “shock” Brazilian white supremacy too much. The hard part is to see them in subversive roles, which challenge the racist logic.
To the contrary to what many suggest, the solution to this situation is not the boycott. Turning off the TV and ignore the programming of racist networks without even commenting to this respect is not the attitude that will solve the problem. More than half of the Brazilian population is self-declared black people, many of which watch television – because they also have the right to choose the kind of entertainment that wish to consume. Therefore, the protest is the only way possible in order that criminal and subordinate black characters are not the only representation that the black population finds on TV.
We cannot allow that whole programs devoted to humiliating and discriminating black people continue; it’s necessary to make a lot of noise to remind the white masters, owners of these racist media empires, that they can no longer represent black women as “hypersexual mulatas” without facing severe protests. This reaction can begin simply by questioning the lack of black actresses on television and the limited roles granted to them.
Racism and sexism against black Brazilian women increasingly bother people.
Source: Revista Forum
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