Note from BW of Brazil: So by now, anyone who follows news from Brazil or specifically race-oriented reports knows about the controversy surrounding Rede Globo TV journalist William Waack, who was shown in a recently leaked video making a racist comment. Waack apparently didn’t know that, during a break in the recording, his comments were picked up as he made a comment to Paulo Sotero, diretor of the Wilson Center in Washington DC. Asked about the incident, Sotero said, he didn’t remember “the episode”. Perhaps attempting to protect his colleague, Sotero continued, saying “I don’t think William is like that. I’m certainly not like that – I repudiate racism.”
Of course, anything is possible, but for me the fact that Waack made such a comment, something that endorses stereotypes about black people, I believe his words represent how he really feels and he’s probably said things like this in the past. The men responsible for leaking the video feel the same way.
We wanted to discuss racism, say men responsible for leaking video of journalist making racist comment
By João Guimarães
A video that is circulating on the Internet has turned the life of journalist William Waack upside down. In the images, Waack prepares for an interview during the coverage of last year’s US elections, when someone on the street starts honkng a horn on the street. Disgruntled, he curses the person and then makes a comment in which he apparently says “é coisa de preto” (it’s a black thing).
Jovem Pan was able to talk exclusively with those responsible for the images. They are: the VT operator Diego Rocha Pereira, 28; and graphic designer Robson Cordeiro Ramos, 29. Both are also producers of a festa de música negra (black music party) in the city of São Paulo.
The original image was obtained by Diego, who is a former employee of Rede Globo TV. According to him, the external link team was preparing for Waack’s entry with a consultant. For those who don’t know, even when not being broadcast on television, operators have access to the images from the link. “Everything happened while the production was putting the microphone on him,” explains Diego. “I still went back to the images to be sure, I was not believing that he would have said that. I was so disgusted that I filmed it with my cell phone. “
The divulgation of the video was made by Robson. “I dropped the video on a group of Movimento Negro (black movement) leaders,” he says. “But this repercussion was not premeditated; the idea was to show friends that an influential journalist like him could also be racist.”
Asked why they released the video now, almost a year later, both explain that they had already shown this to the press, but it didn’t have the same repercussion as now. “We came to hear, ‘if it’s not of (achor of Jornal Nacional) William Bonner,’ there’s no interest,” says Ramos.
The pair also rebut the negative comments that are surfacing on the internet. “If our goal was fame or money, we would have done it before,” says Ramos.
Diego claims that he had even lost the material at a certain time. “The original video was on a cell phone I lost during Carnival. But Robson had it in a backup, when he was updating the phone recently, the video appeared,” details the VT operator.
Both Ramos and Pereira are black and say they feel affected by the comment. Both claim that the biggest indignation is that the kind of comment that Waack made seems to be something natural to him. “He makes the comment freely, everything is normal in the studio, and he speaks freely,” he says. “I was revolted because he [Waack] works with millions of blacks inside of Globo. He is the anchor, he brings the information, but around him there are a lot of blacks working. I wonder how he is off camera,” says Ramos.
Ramos believes that due to the fact that the journalist is considered an intellectual reference in the country, people will look with different eyes at the racial issue. “People will think, ‘Look what happened to him, if I have the same attitude, it will happen to me too.'”
For Diego, another negative part of the situation is the reaction of the people at the time of the comment. In his view, racist attitudes such as that of the host need to be tackled in everyday life. “He was not reprimanded afterwards. There he was full of people, there was a coordinator, image director, (and) the interviewee himself could have complained about the ‘little joke’,” says Diego.
After the accusations of racism against William Waack, Rede Globo decided, last night (8), to remove the journalist from the command of Jornal da Globo. The station said it was against any kind of racial manifestation and that the 65-year veteran will be away from his activities until the situation is clarified.
“Globo is viscerally against racism in all its forms and manifestations. No circumstance can serve as an attenuator. In view of this, Globo is suspending host William Waack from his duties as a result of the video that has been circulating on the Internet until the situation is clarified,” read a statement from the network.
Source: Jovem Pan