Note from BW of Brazil: In terms of Brazil’s mainstream media, I try to keep my eye on what’s going on at all of the major TV networks from the perspective of race, but as Globo TV continues to be the most dominant and most influential, many reports tend to focus on that channel. For anyone who periodically watches the network, the end of the year video and song has long been a regular fixture on the channel. A sort of end of the year celebration that features many of the network’s most recognizable artists, the vignette is, like many of Globo’s other productions, a perfect example of how whiteness continues to be the standard for the media giant’s representation in terms of race.
The 2018 clip continues this standard as it featured a handful of black artists whose images seemed to appear onscreen for split seconds. 31 years ago, in 1987, the difference in representation was, almost literally, like night and day. In that year, Globo decided to produce a clip in celebration of the coming year’s 100 year anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Brazil, the last country in the Americas to officially end the institution of human bondage. 1987 was the only year of such a vast representation of black artists in the annual end of the year clip. And when you consider Globo’s tactics, this makes sense. You see, as I noted in a March 2016 article, the only time Globo or any other TV network seems to feature a cast of primarily black artists is when the theme is slavery. In Brazil’s mainstream media, productions set in the slavery era are still quite common, thus considering these last two points, the 1987 end of the year vignette was very fitting for it still connected the black presence to slavery. In 2018, as in other years, the standard whiteness was back in full effect! Surprise, surprise!
The end of the year when the Globo TV network had only black artists
By Amauri Terto
“Axé, axé … Axé for everyone, Axé.”
In 1987, TV Globo made its traditional end – of – year vignette with much axé, a yoruba term present in the Candomblé religion, whose meaning is a combination of power, energy and positive force. Only black artists and journalists of the network participated in the recording, which celebrated the centennial of the abolition of slavery in Brazil, which would be officially celebrated the following year.
Tim Maia, Elza Soares, Gilberto Gil, Jorge Ben, Milton Nascimento, Leci Brandão, Jair Rodrigues, Sandra de Sá, Alcione and Agnaldo Timóteo were some of the singers who raised their voices on the stage. The event of celebration of Brazilian blackness also brought together dozens of other exponents of Brazilian entertainment, including actor/comedian Jorge Lafond, actor/singer Tony Tornado, actor Milton Gonçalves and actress Ruth de Sousa.
Watch the full video of the 1987 vignette here.
Thirty-one years after the airing of that special vignette, the scenery at the station is vastly different. At the beginning of December, the Notícias da TV website published a report that points to the use of editing tricks by the station in order to highlight the few black artists present in the 2018 vignette.
According to the report, more than 300 people participated in the recordings, among them, journalists, hosts and artists. The result, on the air since November 25, is a 2 and a half minute clip (see here).
Today, the viewer is now able to watch reduced versions, which can range from 30 seconds to 1 minute. According to Notícias da TV, in at least one of these short versions, a black actor appears up to three times – which gives the impression that they are a majority on the screen.
In addition, last May, Globo also faced criticism for the absence of blacks in the novela (soap opera) Segundo Sol, whose plot was set in Bahia, where 76% of the inhabitants declare themselves preto ou pardo (black or brown) – according to IBGE data released in 2013.
In a statement released by the website, the station said that in this year’s vinhette there is “no distinction or appreciation of one talent over another.” According to Globo, different editions have been made “so that everyone has the opportunity to appear in at least one of the versions.”
On the controversial issue of Segundo Sol, Globo has declared the polemic as “overcome” and reported that the João Emanuel Carneiro series had the participation of 120 black actresses and actors.
In the statement, the broadcaster also said it now has 50 black professionals, including actors and hosts. Behind the cameras, according to Globo, there are 21 other black professionals in the area of creation, which includes authors, directors, assistant directors and researchers.
Source: HuffPost Brasil
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