Note from BW of Brazil: The debate is not new, especially among conscious black men and women in Brazil. Regardless of the rejection on the part of this segment of the population, Brazil’s media continues to keep black women in their ‘place’ when representing them on the nation’s airwaves. And the debate won’t be going away anytime soon as the controversial series Sexo e as negas only ended recently, the naked dancing Carnaval ‘mulata’ appearing on TV several times per day and the Carnaval season on full blast. Although Sexo e as negas ran its three month course even against widespread protest, in the US, a similar situation occurred in regards to yet another controversial reality show, Sorority Sisters, the latest in a long line of American reality shows depicting African-American women along very formulaic, stereotypical methods. Below is simply the latest in the continuous production of roles in which Afro-Brazilian women are shown as ‘the help’ or the ‘gostosa’ (sexually hot girl).
Queen of the Drumbeat Camila Silva will debut on TV starring in hot scenes with actor Cauã Reymond
Courtesy of Extra
It’s not only with Bárbara Evans that Cauã Reymond will grapple with in Dois irmãos (TV series). The actor will have super hot scenes with Camila Silva, the ex-rainha de bateria (former Queen of the drumbeat) of the Mocidade samba school in 2013, and owner of the post in the Vai Vai samba school of São Paulo.
In Itacoatiara, in the Amazonas, where part of the miniseries is being recorded, the two came to rotate scenes in which they appear completely nude in the street. In another scene, by recommendation of director, Luiz Fernando Carvalho, Camila recorded with her breasts out after the top she wore came undone by itself.
In the miniseries, Camila plays Pau Mulato, a garota de programa (call girl) and the lover of Omar, the rebel twin played by Cauã. The two have an intensely sexual relationship, almost obsessive.
At 28, Camila will make her acting debut at Globo TV under the approval of her husband, Darly Silva, better known as Neguitão, the president of the Vai Vai samba school. Famous in the samba scene in São Paulo, the mulata had a passage through the school of Wolf Maya actors in the capital.
She had to audition to get the role in the miniseries and was trying to keep it a secret from her squad, by the recommendation of the network. In order for it not to leak, she anticipated commitments to Carnival to join the cast in the Amazon. Before embarking, she cut and dyed her long hair, a requirement of the role. She returned to São Paulo on the 11th, just three days before the parade of Vai Vai, in São Paulo.
Note from BW of Brazil: There are so many issues with this character, from the name to the description, which is exactly what happened when the series Sexo e as negas was announced last spring. The name of the character is ‘Pau Mulato’. The term ‘pau’ in Portuguese literally means ‘wood’ but it’s also a Brazilian slang term that refers to the male sexual organ. The topic of this announcement brought about a sort of “here we go again” reaction in social networks. Below are a few opinions of people who are concerned with what is clearly a trend in Brazil’s media.
“In the miniseries, Camila plays Pau Mulato, a garota de programa (call girl) and the lover of Omar, the rebel twin played by Cauã. The two have an intensely sexual relationship, almost obsessive.”
Sidnei: When we complain, we’re annoying. Look at the name of the character and then look at the description. We’re only good for sex for this racist, sexist media.
Maria – What I’m most outraged about is the lack of ownership of awareness of the facts that marked our history by the black woman in front of this capitalist, illusory model in which relegates us to a deepening chaotic via herself. This is an inexcusable impasse for us anti-racist fighters.
Va – The role she will represent says it all … and then not being the leading lady…..and like many she works for the money……and as much as what we think Globo’s not even here….so the deal is as follows….changing the channel turning it off is the same … when it comes to sex to sell this image, the products think about profit….and from there, the more clicks the product is well sold.
Mar – Souza, Ali Kamel (1) is one of the biggest racists of Globo. I read all of his books, his racism is very clear in every trace
She – The effed up thing is that the many alienated black women will find it all beautiful, and they will surely watch and imitate. A minority that boycotts doesn’t affect the sewage system.
Ma – The issue is not even the role, but ONLY these roles, as if how the white actors and actresses who do these but also others, #sqn…blacks only do this or subjugated roles, after this performance we know she will not be the next good girl girl of the novela (soap opera) or the matriarch of the successful black family. And there is no channel or even a program at any station to make a counterpoint.
S – Do you know what the real reason is for this happening? It’s a black man or woman not subjecting themselves to these roles. .It’s ceasing from wanting little…or nothing…there was a time in history that we were submissive or placed in horrible conditions for a human being……today with so much knowledge and advances…I say for sure… everything happens if there was permission. ..We are victims! We are forming agents of this society.
Van – unfortunately this point is as oppressive as to what we have already suffered, are you saying it is the fault of the oppressed? Never, we don’t have choices and opportunities, do you know what the financial situation of this woman is? Maybe she was already prostituting herself in real life, this is imposition not choice.
Pr – Vanessa she is the wife of the director of Vai Vai, surely she isn’t (in a) bad (condition), you don’t thing she came to Globo because of talent???
Van – So we have an exception, this was never the rule
Van – and a black woman married to whoever she wants, does not mean she has financial freedom, moreover I doubt that she has, most women are sex slaves and certainly subject themselves to anything for the minimal financial freedom
Sonia – So I am an exception…Because I believe and make my words my practices.
P – Excuse me I respect your opinion but the issue here is she is accepting a role that they always impose on a black woman in the media. I am also making this point. I’m (with) Sonia.
Note from BW of Brazil: Of course, if one isn’t familiar with Globo TV productions, the controversy may be hard to grasp. But suffice it to say, it’s simply more of the same. We have the title and occupation of the character making the direct association between a black woman and hyper-sexuality, similar to the title of Sexo e as negas, which was loaded with sexual scenarios. We have the director pushing the envelope of acceptability with the usage of nudity, which we also noted in Negas. The sexual relationship is described as ‘almost obsessive’, again making a connection with exacerbated sexuality. And let us not forget that the director of Globo’s latest scandal, Luiz Fernando Carvalho, was also accused of exploiting sexual connotations of black sexuality in the directing of the 2012 Globo TV series Subúrbia, which, after its promising expectations of presenting a 90% black cast, fizzled into a mess of familiar clichés and stereotypes.
So what’s the verdict? Well, of course it’s always too early to say, but as a pattern in relation to Afro-Brazilian actors and actresses has existed for years in Brazil’s media, why would we expect anything of value from this latest offering? The description, occupation and title of Camila Silva’s character says it all! At this point, the bottom line is as follows. As long as black actors are willing to accept the scraps off of the racist media’s table, similar to Brazil’s 350 years of slavery, they will continue to remain in the senzala (slave quarters). Black representation is so minimal in Brazil’s media that it seems these performers are willing to accept anything for their shot at the big time. If that means whoring themselves, literally or figuratively, so be it, it seems.
Am I going a little to far in this analysis? I don’t think so. If one wants to gain fame and fortune in today’s scandalous, sex-obsessed media, they must be willing to go all the way. Only those involved know what that means but I found it intriguing a few years ago when I discovered that the protagonist of the aforementioned 2012 series Subúrbia, Erika Januza, was dating the director of the series, Luiz Fernando Carvalho.
Of course no one knows the details of what went down with that relationship, but what comes to your mind when you hear of an attractive, young, newcomer black actress dating a 52-year old white male who is the director of the program in which she makes her debut? I don’t include this detail to engage in tabloid style gossip, but rather to simply illustrate a point. When the power dynamics that dominate the relationship between a ruling group and another group that was formerly their property continue in the modern day and the former continues to accept whatever the former sees fit to give them, the relationship remains the same. Of course there will be those who will argue that the Camila Silva situation is only a TV role and as such, just entertainment. But if people still haven’t figured out that the media continuously use its power to not only depict life but also influence and maintain it through its thinly veiled portrayals of the real life power structure presented as fiction, then this conversation may be over their heads anyway.
Comments in original Portuguese
1. General director at the Globo TV network. Kamel has been a consistent controversial figure in his tenure at the network. See here and here.
Urgh, it gets worse every day doesn’t it?
When are African-Brazilians going to separate & form their own economy? Whites do not share power, they never have, and they never will. Black people around the world need to stop hoping that non-black people suddenly will have a change of heart. It won’t happen. Either we separate, or we die.
Is it too hard for black Brazilians to do like the Nigerians(Nollywood) and Ghanaians(Gallywood) have done, and do their simple movie productions for their markets? A few like minds can come together and start small and pool their funds for equipment and get sponsorship from successful blacks in the country and start something. I honestly do not see Globo and its likes making any changes soon, they are too invested in perpetuating the stereotypes and showing blacks in a negative light; as I stated on another post, racism is profitable for whom it profits and the society has designated for blacks to be at the bottom so nobody is going to do anything to stop their profits to appease mere blacks. It is then incumbent on blacks to do for self! If you are tired of the madness, then write your own scripts with positive, progressive characters and do your filming and do your own projects. Start small and grow!