Billionaire owner of SBT, Brazil’s third biggest TV network, Silvio Santos, makes a racist comment (again) on his program about a black child’s hair



Note from BW of Brazil: You know, with the rise the internet and social media, reporting on racism in Brazil could could actually be a full-time job on a big budget, corporate funded website with a fully-employed staff. Seriously, although this blog does cover headline making incidents involving race, to cover the incidents that happen on a daily basis, in 26 states and a Federal District would be no small task and would require more than a little input. Until that happens, we’ll continue doing our part to expose the real Brazil that so many still don’t want to recognize. When you have big names such as the man featured in today’s report, it begins to get all the more absurd that people still won’t acknowledge with big ‘R’ word. 

Both of the figures we bring you today have been featured in past posts. The little five-year cutie has gained wide exposure on social media as a dancer and was featured on a previous post in which she let the world know the pride she has in her hair. She uses this pride to protect herself from the comments of people like the other subject, a billionaire owner of Brazil’s number three top TV network, SBT, and whose name has been mentioned in eight previous posts. In fact, in one of those posts, he was featured making the same sort of racist joke about a black girl’s hair for which he is featured today. Just a coincidence, right? Not at all, because the man, Silvio Santos (real name Senor Abravanel), has been known for making jokes of bad taste for many years. Today’s story is just the latest…

SBT host and owner Silvio Santos talks o five year old Elis and then makes a negative comment about the child’s hair

Silvio Santos makes a racist comment on program and receives criticism on the Internet

Courtesy of Brasil Post

SBT host and owner Silvio Santos has a long history of making gaffes and jokes of bad tastes on his shows

Silvio Santos was criticized on the internet after he made a comment deemed racist during his program, which aired on Sunday (4) on SBT-TV.

In the “Talento Infantil” (Children’s Talent) part of the show, the host asked Elis, a little 5-year old black girl who lives in Rio de Janeiro, if she thought that she was OK with her cabelo crespo (kinky/curly hair). The child said she was and Silvio insisted and said the hair called “atenção demais” (too much attention).

5-year old Elis Cantanhede, a Hip Hop dancer, was a guest on the Silvio Santos TV program

The comments angered internet users, who called Santos racist and bigoted.

comment 1

carol @ccarolfnsc: Silvio Santos being racist. I don’t deserve (this)

kyle @MrHughezz: Silvio Santos being racist with a CHILD. Disgusting

Luan Marques @LuannSz: Silvio Santos wasn’t racist with the little girl with afro hair, right.

comment 2

Vitoso @ vitorlucas_1994: Do you (all) see how the Silvio Santos treats a white child with straight hair and how he questions a black girl with cabelo Black Power (afro)?

lara @lerriehurts: Silvio Santos teasing the girl’s afro hair is ridiculous.

Sarah @saraliliti: Silvio Santos talking to a 5 year old girl that with that hair (Black power) she may not be able to work on television. Ridiculous!

comment 3

05/01 / 1999❤ @ 7Dressa: Ridiculous Silvio Santos with this prejudice! 👌. Let the girl have her cabelo black (afro), fuck if it calls attention or not! 😡👌👊✊

Elis is only five, but she’s already known on the Internet. She uses the stage name MC Elis and has about eight thousand followers on Facebook, drawing attention for her dance moves that mix Hip Hop and the so-called “passinho” (little step) characteristic style of the Rio’s favelas (slums). The little one has already met TV hosts Xuxa and Raul Gil and popular singer Ludmilla. She has a style that highlights black empowerment and proudly displays her cabelo crespo blackpower.

This is not the first time the 85 year old host has made prejudiced comments on TV. During the Teleton program in 2014, Silvio Santos made fun of the afro-textured hair of a young actress of the SBT TV program Chiquititas.

Silvio asked what she thought she would do when she grew up, and when she said she wanted to be an actress or singer, he asked, “com esse cabelo” (with this hair)?.

In April of this year, Silvio said that the actor João Guilherme Ávila of the Cúmplices de Um Resgate novela (soap opera) that he looked like a “fag” because of his wearing makeup.

Source: Brasil Post, UAI

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. He will be dead soon, so this little girl will not need to worry about him for much longer. Also, how can ANYONE whose face is melting off possibly say that someone’s hair calls too much attention?? good LAWD!

  2. This doesn’t surprise me, racism is a like a form of cancer that will always be with us as long as humans are exist, we will never get rid of it. Perhaps some need to tell him with a face like his he should be on television. He has a face for radio but not for television.

    • Did you mean, “Perhaps someone needs to tell him that with a face like his, he shouldn’t be on television”? My question would be, where did he get help along the way to gain his fortune? Everyone is led to believe that he rose the ranks to fame and fortune all by himself and we should ALL know that that’s NOT how it works!

    • This ugly mudda fudda son of a b***h should be the last person to talk about talk about looks, and for him to say it to a child who is far better looking than he is, and probably better looking than his kids, that is if he have any, it’s down right cruel. This should be considered child abuse.

  3. i think that in brazil and other latin countries it def. a different kind of racism. in the US its the “one-drop” rule at play here (still), and you’ll be black and thats it; but in latin countries theyre not so strict….u can “whiten up” and become accepted IF u look white and so u cant have “black” hair and be accepted. this is a reason i think why some blacks there are loathe to call themselves black…because they know if they just try harder to fit in and look more white they’ll be accepted eventually, which is why its well known that latins(i am too, im dominican) are told growing up that u must “improve” ur race by marrying or having a child w/ a lighter skinned child….because u actually may be accepted whereas in the US u generally wont and will always be seen as black no matter how white u may look

    • Myself, I see a lot of deception going on in Brazil. People may treat you as if you’re white (when you’re not) but in the moment of racism, Brazilians will often insult someone based on a feature that physically reminds them of their African ancestry. It’s intriguing, because when these insults happen, often times, the person being insulted may not catch the racial meaning of the insult.

    • Thanks for pointing this out. I once tried to point out that racism is “different” in the US and Latin America. Readers of this blog are coming from different societies and with different experiences. The Dominican Republic used to have an unspoken one-drop rule: i.e one drop of white blood made you white. The mixed/black divisions in Haiti and the DR are striking. Brasil is also different. The English-speaking Caribbean is also different. We had a Marcus Garvey. Let us recognise the different perspectives we bring to the table.

  4. This Ugly Mudda Fudda, son of a bi**h should be ashamed of himself picking on a child, he look like his mother used to beat him with ugly stick when he was a child. This should be considered child abuse.

  5. This man has had a LOT of work done to his face, the first picture makes it obvious so he’s in no position to criticize anyone’s looks with those horse teeth and face slowly melting off. Some white people are REALLY delusional to believe that, no matter how hideous they look, they’ll always be seen as attractive due to their skin tone. And to criticize a child’s appearance…on national tv just shows everyone he’s a hideous bastard on the inside and outside.

    • What if that child had turned around when he made fun of her hair and said, “yea, but you are old and ugly” what do you think would have happened? I don’t know what’s is ethnicity is or what he called himself, but looking at him, I said if he was living in the southern states back in the day of Jim Crow he would be riding at the back of the bus.

  6. What is new here? For centuries black ppl’s features have been a source of amusement for whites. These ppl are the original bullies. Not only that they are dumb as bricks because black ppl created them, they owe their existence to the very ppl they ridicule. Even to this day we can still make them.

    Now, a man with a horse-like set of teeth and Botox that have him looking like an overstuffed snake is taking cheap shots at an innocent child. Can he even close his mouth or does he sleep with a bridle? Nature gave the child her hair and she is wearing it as it grows out of her head, but someone in a lab cut out those wood choppers in his mouth, yet, he sees nothing wrong with himself. Idiot!!!

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