Guinea pigs? Popular TV host Xuxa suggests prisoners be used to test vaccines instead of animals; Brazil’s prison population is nearly 2/3 black and brown

Note from BBT: Have any of you ever noted how quickly people are to apologize for things they say when it provokes public outrage? I mean, it’s expected. They effed up and so they wanna get themselves out of the glare of the spotlight, get out of the hotseat. But there’s something else that I tend to think when I see such things. Of course they apologize with the quickness, especially if they happen to be a person with fame and fortune. They want to remain in good graces of the public at large. Often times, you’ll notice, when people say outrageous things, they don’t really regret what they said. They in fact expressed EXACTLY what they really felt. They apologize not because what they said isn’t what they feel, but because of how people react when they expose their true selves.

These people don’t actually regret what they said, they just don’t like the public scrutiny and criticism that comes with the territory. with it. I see them in the same manner as supermarkets, malls or any other places of business that always issue some type of scripted apology after an employee or official representing the company does something that sullies the company’s image. Just on this blog alone, I’ve seen it too many times to remember. “Our company repudiates any sort of discrimination due to race, color, religion or sexual orientation,” bla bla bla.

Let’s get real, when there are situations in which non-white clients are followed around stores or approached by security, these businesses themselves most likely trained their people on what type of “suspects” to pay special attention to. If there isn’t any public reaction, this sort of behavior continues unchecked.

This is what I thought when this latest controversy started making headlines. I’ve written about the famous children’s television host Xuxa Meneghel numerous times before, not because I’m a fan, but because this blog analyzes Brazil from the perspective of race. And there is absolutely NO doubt that Xuxa Meneghel, a descendant of German immigrants to Brazil, has benefitted in an incalculable manner due to her ultra whiteness and ultra blondness. Let us remember, if it were up to Brazil’s elites, all Brazilians would like Xuxa. Not any conspiracy theory of mine. It’s FACT. And evidence of this is seen on Brazilian television stations every day.

I’ve always looked at Xuxa as a sort of manufactured “Pop Star” that would be used for social engineering purposes. If you want everyone in a certain country to heap adoration on whiteness, you have to create an idol for people to adore and aspire to be like. And to do this, it’s best to start with the little ones. One of Xuxa’s first roles in the film Amor Estranho Amor caused controversy because she was shown having sexual relations with a 12-year old. Xuxa says she was between 17 and 19 years of age at the time. In 1991, Xuxa filed a lawsuit claiming that the film being made available for viewing in homes wasn’t árt of her contract. Funny how a woman who made such a film would later be adored by perhaps tens of millions of Brazilian children because of the numerous shows bearing her name targeting that age bracket. If you follow how things work in entertainment, you know this was most likely not coincidence.

I also believe that Xuxa’s much publicized romantic relationship with the “Rei do Futebol” (King of Soccer), Pelé, was probably a publicity stunt to blow up her popularity. I mean, how many white Brazilian celebrities have you ever seen with a clearly black, dark-skinned partner? Let me tell you, in the two decades that I’ve following “coisas do Brasil”, I can tell you, it’s very rare. When you see a dark-skinned Brazilian entertainer with a white partner, they usually have a much higher status than their white girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband. That’s a whole other topic…

Over the years, I’ve read endless comments of black Brazilian women entertainers about how they adored Xuxa’s show when they were little girls and dreamed of being one of Xuxa’s “Paquitas”, the song and dance girls prominently featured on her program. It would never be. They were the “wrong color”. To be a “Paquita”, you had be a teenage female and white…VERY white. With rising demands for black representation in Brazil’s media, years later, Xuxa would claim that it was her black manager who refused to put on a black Paquita.

Xuxa’s song and dance group, As Paquitas

To me, Xuxa comes across as really out of touch in terms of issues of race. Why would she have a clue? Due to her appearance and status, it’s not something that affects her. This cluelessness came across in 2015 when Xuxa was seen wearing a t-shirt that read “You don’t have to be black to fight against racism”. I’m sure that t-shirt will change the world! I mean, wearing a t-shirt should be enough to stop Brazil’s genocide against black youth, right? You just gotta believe!

In 2019, Xuxa was among a number of white Brazilian celebrities who expressed their remorse over the death of a dog in front a Carrefour supermarket. Yet Xuxa had nothing to say about a young black male who was suffocated to death by a supermarket security guard. Xuxa also had nothing to say when 40-year João Alberto was killed last November at another location of the same Carrefour supercenter in which the dog was killed.

So Xuxa stands for animal rights, huh? Nothing wrong with that at all. But one must ask how she really feels about human beings. With her recent statement, I have to wonder if Xuxa has ever heard of the infamous Tuskegee Experiment. At a time when everyone’s talking about vaccines, it’s intriguing to know how Xuxa thinks in terms of who untested medicines and vaccines should be tested on. Nearly 2 out of every 3 inmates in Brazil’s prison system are non-white people. Knowing how whiteness works in Brazil, I would even question how many of those white prisoners would be considered such in the US or Europe.

Keep this in mind as you read the following controversy.

In a recent live chat, television host Xuxa Meneghel suggested that prisoners be used to test vaccines and medicines

Xuxa defends that prisoners be guinea pigs in tests of vaccines and medicines

For the popular host, people deprived of their liberty “would serve for doing something before they die, to help save lives”

By Carlos Estênio Brasilino

Xuxa Meneghel, the eternal “queen of the shorties”, caused controversy, this Friday, by advocating that tests of medicines and vaccines use condemned and imprisoned people as guinea pigs, instead of animals. The statement, which according to the host may seem “an inhuman thought”, was made during a live chat promoted by the Legislative Assembly of Rio (Alerj) to debate animal rights.

“I think, with medication and other things, I have a thought that can seem very bad for people, inhumane. In my opinion, there are many people who have done a lot of wrong things and are there paying for their mistakes forever in prisons, who could help in these cases, of people for experiments,” said Xuxa.

The host said she believed that, in this way, people deprived of their freedom “would at least serve something before they die, to help save lives with medicine and everything”.

And she continued: “Here come the human rights people and say that they cannot be used. But if it is people who are proven to spend 60, 50 years in jail and who will die there, I think they could use at least a little bit of their life to help other people. Testing medicines, vaccines, testing everything on these people”.

In the live chat, Xuxa also spoke against the imprisonment of birds in cages: “I am of the following opinion: nobody has the right to imprison anyone. It’s very inhumane.”

Note from BBT: Needless to say, criticism of Xuxa’s comments came quickly. Since word of her thoughts became public, hundreds, perhaps thousands of comments as well as response articles by Brazilians expressing their shock and outrage at the TV host’s opinions starting popping up. People not only saw the ideology of eugenics (of which Brazil has its own history) in her statement, but also compared them to another moment in period in history that people will never forget. 

”The video in which Xuxa, in agreement with the interviewer, advocates using prisoners to do drug tests. More than 30% of Brazilian prisoners have not been put on trial. Most of the prisoners are black and poor people. This has a name! It’s calls eugenics!” – Jones Manoel (@_makavelijones) March 27, 2021

Actor José de Abreu was one another of those who took a stand against the artist’s comments and compared Xuxa’s last name, Meneghel, to Josef Mengele, who was head of the medical service at Auschwitz concentration camp, in Nazi Germany during WWII. Mengele used prisoners as guinea pigs. “Xuxa Menengele? Worse, she doesn’t even know the depth of what she said. ‘The Internet has given voice to the morons. Voltaire,” published the actor on a social network. Xuxa is of Polish, German and Swiss ancestry.

Xuxa apologizes after defending vaccine and drug tests on prisoners

She says she expressed herself badly. And understands the flaws in the prison system

Courtesy of Power 360

TV host Xuxa quickly apologized for her comments

Xuxa said via social media that she was wrong to advocate clinical tests on inmates when she participated in the virtual discussion of the Rio Legislative Assembly on the defense of animal rights.

Meneghel published on the dawn of this past Saturday (March 27,2021) a video on her Instagram profile apologizing for suggesting that vaccines and drugs be tested on prisoners.

“I made a mistake and I’m here apologizing,” she said. Xuxa said she didn’t use the right words when expressing herself.

The controversial comment was made on Friday (March 26,2021) during a live promoted on Instagram by Alerj (Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro). According to Xuxa, being guinea pigs, prisoners “would be useful for something before they died”.

The topic of Alerj’s conversation was the protection of animals. Xuxa is a fan of veganism and argues that animals should not be used in tests. According to her, the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries use the easiest way, which is to “get a little monkey” and see what happens.

“I also think that with medicines and things, I have a thought that can seem very bad to people, that can seem inhuman,” she said.

The broadcast is no longer on Alerj’s Instagram profile, but the excerpt was saved and posted by Internet users on social media.

When apologizing, Xuxa said: “I thought one thing, I thought many things, I wanted to talk about many subjects and not to escape the subject which  was the subject of animals”.

The host stated that, in her speech, she judged, mistreated and used words that should not have been used.

“I’m here to apologize to all of you,” she said.

Xuxa said she didn’t refer to black prisoners or wanted to discuss issues of inequality. “I always keep thinking about the person who rapes a child, who remains in the prison, years there, I could think of helping other people in some way”.

“Is it wrong? It’s wrong. Did I express myself badly? I expressed myself badly,” said Xuxa.

“I know that we really have many flaws in Brazil and one of them is this [in the prison system]. Who am I to say that these people should stay there and die there? If I do that, I’m being as bad as other people who mistreat other lives and shouldn’t be doing that,” she said.

In suggesting that prisoners be guinea pigs, Xuxa shows herself as racist and inhuman

By Maria Carolina Trevisan

As if the devaluation of life wasn’t enough through the deadly management of the health crisis led by the (President Jair) Bolsonaro government, we now have one of the biggest Brazilian celebrities suggesting that prisoners serve as guinea pigs – instead of animals – for the pharmaceutical industry to develop medicines and vaccines. In a live chat in defense of animals, last Friday (26), on the channel of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (in Alerj, that’s right!), Xuxa found it appropriate to launch the idea of exchanging the animals used in the tests for human beings deprived of freedom, in the custody of the State.

“In my opinion, there are many people who have done many, many wrong things and are there paying for their mistakes in an ad eternum, forever in prisons. They could help in these cases,” said Xuxa, who is a vegan. Then she added: “At least they would do something before they die, to help save lives.”

Xuxa must believe in the same level as a divine entity, with powers to determine who deserves or who does not deserve dignity. Who deserves to live and who deserves to be tortured. Don’t you know that democracy is like that, we owe respect to normal and fundamental rights, which are for everyone? “There will come a human rights person and saying, ‘No, they cannot be used,” said Xuxa. It’s a good thing that there are these human rights people.

Brazil has the 3rd largest prison population in the world, behind only the United States and China. There are about 800,000 people deprived of their liberty in this country. Here, many get imprisoned and it gets bad. Anyone who is above all black, above all young, above all poor is a suspect.

More than 60% of those incarcerated are black. One third of the total prison population is made up of pre-trial detainees, that is, they have not been tried, although we all have the right to ample defense and a fair trial.

63.7% of Brazil’s prisoners are black or brown

Most of the people who now live in the prison system were framed for drug trafficking. In countless of these cases, people have no connection with the top hierarchies of criminal organizations. But even if they did: the prison system is already a permanent torture, recognized by the Federal Supreme Court as incompatible with life, with overcrowding, lack of access to all care, poor health care, among many other problems. There is no reasonable possibility for Xuxa’s thinking.

Everyone who is there has a mother and a father. They are all human beings. What does Xuxa want with this idea? They are people and are under the care of the State. When the pandemic started, just over a year ago, access to prisons was restricted. Seeing the number of patients increase without medical care, without proper treatment and without the possibility of isolation, prisoners began to write love and farewell letters to their girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, mothers, children. They spoke of love and fear.

It’s complicated, heartbreaking, and at the same time, revealing to see this type of stance of an idol like Xuxa, precisely in this moment in Brazil, in which we are a funeral home without the right to mourning, the world epicenter of disgrace, of the plague. The host later apologized. She acknowledged that she was wrong, but she acknowledged that this is her own thought. “I have a thought that can seem very bad to people, inhuman …”. It is inhuman and prejudiced, among other issues.

Let it be made clear that a comment like that is not an oversight. For the “ex-queen of the shorties”, there are people who are not worth the existence of a mouse. These people have color and social class.

The right to life is sovereign. For all of us.

Source: SBT, Metropoles, UOL, Poder 360

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

1 Comment

  1. Xuxa is a White Supremacist and she meant what she said. Plain and simple. Black people have already been used for guinea pig experiments by White Supremacist for centuries. Screw her BS apology.

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