Note from BW of Brazil: Sad, just really sad! Although today’s post is not necessarily a follow up, it picks from a February 22nd post where we stated “it’s been a very unpleasant week for black Brazilian women.” In that post, we also mentioned “two other controversies that we will cover in coming days”. Today, we present the second of those controversies, the first of which we covered yesterday. To get right to the point, it seems that’s open season on disrespecting black women! Why, you might ask? Well, we first we had the issue of white male Carnaval groups dressing up in outrageous blackface costumes in “honor” of black women. Then we had a self-proclaimed white supremacist’s creation of a racist Facebook page called “Eu não mereço mulher preta” (I don’t deserve a black woman) in which he posted vile photos and comments to “prove” that white women were clearly more attractive than black women. Then, a few days ago, another blogger also laid out his argument for why white women are “aesthetically superior” to other races of women. In a period of about a week, those open displays of disrespect would have been enough, but then this latest case (from last Saturday) went down. Needless to say, I’m still shaking my head!
Before we get into this, the first two articles below will introduce you to the issue…
Accused of racism, actor Marcello Melo Jr. has argument on Instagram
Courtesy of Extra and Terra
Marcello Melo Jr., actor from RGT (Rede Globo Television), was involved in a mess on his Instagram account. After posting a photo that makes fun of a black woman, the artist was accused of racist by his followers, while others said they did not see anything wrong with the publication.
After some criticism, the actor decided to address the issue also on Instagram: he posted a print of a criticism of a follower, which states that the actor is on RGT “to meet racial quotas”. In the caption of the image, Marcello defended himself: “If you’re lacking humor where you only see only prejudice, I believe you should review its concepts #MaisHumorPorFavor (more humor please) the instagram is mine, I post things I find: funny, interesting or simply what I want!” he said.
The actor wrote in the caption: “My dear, if assuming guilt is served I can’t do anything .. I’m not here to offend anyone, why was your first comment about the issue of her being black!? I’m BLACK yes, I am clear and assume very much this issue, now you lack humor where you can see only prejudice, I believe that you should review you concepts #MaisHumorPorFavor (more humor please) the instagram is mine, I post things I find: funny, interesting or simply what I want! You are the one that is prejudicial, I didn’t get on Globo (TV) by quotas but by my talent..if it had been by quota who would be there would be you!! #BotaAcaraNoSol (put your face in the sun)# SóUmaDica (just a clue)”
In the photo, a black woman appears with the caption “Watch out for her hair. She likes renovate her hair”, a part from the song “Cuida bem dela” (Take good care of her), by the Sertaneja music duo Henrique and Juliano.
One that questioned the Globo TV actor’s posture was Portuguese Language teacher Jillian Antunes, 26, a resident of Rio de Janeiro. The carioca (Rio native) said she decided to comment on the Instagram by Marcello for having been surprised by the joke. A fan of the actor and of the music group Melanina Carioca of which Marcello is a member, Jillian received insults from him on the social network.
“Go hunt for a husband! Bad food no… because no one must eat (fuck) you,” (see note 1) Marcello wrote to Jilian. And still more, “Go fuck yourself **** Ugly as ****. Ugly and ridiculous,” he said.
“I really delayed believing he had been so rude for nothing. I didn’t assault him so much. I saw that the photo wasn’t there anymore and I congratulated Marcelo because he deleted it. Including the print I made of the conversation, I put exactly what I said to him. Seconds later he responded that way. I thought it had not been for me, that he had typed my name accidentally. But then he was in several of my photos to comment individually. I thought it was absurd,” said Jillian, who published on Facebook messages left by the actor in her profile.
“It was still good that he deleted that ridiculous photo, before belittling a black woman, belittling a woman!!! I’m your fan. I expected no less from you! Only an addendum to the response that you gave: please don’t disparage quotas and social measures. Not you! It would be extremely contradictory. To all equally talented blacks who did not have the same social opportunities as you (you, unfortunately, have been the victim of the logic and play supporting roles) our respect and healthy humility,” Jillian posted on Marcello’s social network.
Jillian believes that the actor didn’t intend to be racist in publishing the first image, but points out that from the beginning she only questioned his attitude toward women.
“I even think that the image had a racist ting, but he didn’t think about this, so much so that I told him that he had been disrespectful, first of all, with a woman. In the end, I think he was (is) very sexist; including because of the comments and other responses.”
After the repercussions of the controversy, Jillian came to think of suing the actor, but is still not sure about the measures to be taken. On Instagram, Marcello Melo Jr. came to post a video in the early hours of Friday, apologizing for the confusion, but the recording, as well as the first photo were deleted from the social network.
This morning, however, followers continued criticizing Marcello’s stance on social networks. The actor’s fans also express support and defend him. Sought for comment, Marcello Melo Jr. was not found. The actor’s press office said it was trying to contact him to provide clarification.
Response to Mello from Laurastatus: “Dude, look at the shit that you did! Making fun of a black woman being BLACK and raised in the community! Shame on you! You know that you are on Globo (TV) to fulfill racial quotas and that if it weren’t for the struggle of the Movimento Negro (black movement) Globo wouldn’t hire black actors and you publish this? Negro da casa grande (house nigga)! Go study! Idiot!”
Negro of the test tube or when racism germinates inside the house
“Racism and familiar oppression of our Brazilian daily life.”
by Marcos Romão; originally posted at Mamapress
“We have seen a troublesome phenomenon that is the attacks that young black women are suffering in social networks. To our amazement the aggressions that these young people receive are not bald neo-Nazis, but rather sexist and black men. They are insulted almost always unloved at the least when not suffering bullying by groups that appear to act orchestrated manner, by saying they are offended in their “masculinity”.
Restricted to small social networks, the aggressions against young black girls who write about everything, but mostly about sexism and racial discrimination against black women in particular, gained some notoriety when black actor/singer of the Globo TV network, Marcello Melo Jr. posted derogatory images of black women, and made offensive comments against his fan club that protested.
Sexism and racism is not a privilege of class or of color. In Brazil in particular, anyone can behave as a racist “white” even being black and even very poor when in a fight finds himself in the right to call the other poor person a negro fedido (stinking black).
In the phenomenon in question, it seems that racism Brazilian style is no exception to the rule, the black man Marcelo Mello Jr, seeing himself criticized by a black woman let loose on the social network:
“Go hunt for a husband! Bad food no… because no one must eat (fuck) you,”
“Go fuck yourself, ugly as hell! You’re horrible ugly and ridiculous.”
We of Sos Racismo Brasil consider this phenomenon of discriminatory aggression extremely serious, regardless of the legal actions and individual apologies, we believe that our entire society needs to put the brakes on these attacks and discuss in public without fearing racism, sexism, and homophobia that is spreading within our youth.
Employers and employees of companies, teachers and students of schools, parents and children need without prejudices and pre-judgments take the bull of intolerance and the Dark Ages to the nail.
We still have time, we must act, because this case is much more than a polemic of beardless and irresponsible artists. It is a dilemma that is explained, it will help much to understand racism and family and cordial oppression of our day-to-day Brazilian life.
Note from BW of Brazil: Just for clarity, an example of one of the incidents that “the attacks that young black women are suffering in social networks” from “sexist and black men” happened during Carnaval season when a Rio-based black man who nicknamed himself the “mulatologist” basically threatened and stalked a black woman on the internet for “the crime” of denouncing his usage of such a term that has clear sexist connotations all over it. The guy also berated other black women who questioned the title of his self-definition. After posting several photos of one of his critics, it was simply unbelievable to see what surmounted to internet bullying of a black woman by a black man! Now, back to the situation of the day….
What happens when we don’t remain quite?
by Gabi Porphyry; originally posted at Blogueiras Negras
Sexism; Misogyny; Racism – This text contains insults and name-calling, besides explicit sexism.
With a range of about sixty minutes, the actor and singer Marcello Melo – the current defending champion of the Dança dos Famosos – posted two photos on his instagram (marcellomelojr) to ridicule and expose two black women. So far, two portals reported what was called “accusation of racism”, here and here.
This text is not being written for the unconditional fans of Marcello Melo. We have already had the most different manifestations that prove there is still a long way, too long, to go so that these people know what racism is and that it manifests itself in many different ways, in expressions, actions, omissions, in jokes, in stereotypes and in deprivation. This text does not address them because, arguably, they are all covered by the sacred cloak of ignorance. But it is always very important to point out that they are, overwhelmingly, whites. Briefly, what happened was that around 5pm this Thursday, the actor Marcello Melo posted this picture on his instagram
With 7,164 likes up until midnight on Friday and 999 comments, Marcello Melo was being praised, endorsed, supported by his racist joke. It was first ridicule of a black woman that Marcello Melo began that night. After the counter manifestation of lawyer Laura Astrolabio, in the very same actor’s instagram, pointing out the racism in the picture and in the caption, after Marcello Melo fans ridiculed the black woman of the first picture, the actor – probably feeling untouchable and with all the support he received from unsuspecting followers – comfortably made a print of Laura’s comment (which, by now, was lost among the nearly thousand comments) and posted as a photo on his instagram. It was the second ridicule and exposure of a black woman that Marcello Melo had started that night. Laura’s comment was there for all who wanted to see it, lost, but it was there. The reason why the actor highlighted the lawyer’s comment owed itself exclusively to throwing her to the hungry fans who were already defending him.
In her Relationship Status page, Laura published an open letter to the actor expressing her indignation with the entire circus that had been reinforced by him.
Another black woman (who preferred to have their identity preserved), in solidarity with Laura and disgusted with all that exposure, expressed herself in defense of the first woman and, in response, had published in her own instagram actor the following responses: “Vai se fuder.!!! Otária feia pra caralho…” (sic) e “Se olha no espelho.. Só cuidado pra não quebrar.!!!” (meaning “Go Fuck yourself!!! Sucker ugly as hell…” (sic) and “Look in the mirror.. Only be careful not to break it!!! “. It was the third exhibition of a black woman done by the Globo TV actor Marcello Melo.
It turns out that messing with one black woman, you mess with thousands of them. Many of us went over to Globo actor Marcello Melo, in his instagram, criticizing him for the posts, the declaration (and, at this point, for his unfortunate existence). The result? The fourth ridicule of a black women of the night. In the profile of the blogger and architect Stephanie Ribeiro, Marcello Melo wrote “Ostentando o que ia…A falta de beleza, feiura!…Pelo amor de deus se olhe no espelho !!! Só cuidado pra não quebrar .. Vai tomar no cu” (meaning “Boasting what would you … The lack of beauty, ugliness! … For God’s sake look in the mirror!!! Only careful not to break it..Go take in the ass.) (Up until 1am of Friday morning, Marcello Melo had spewed “bad food” and “no one should eat/fuck you” to three other women).
At this point, we can only think of “inadmissible”, “incredible”, “surreal” to describe this flood of sexism, misogyny and racism coming from a black man, whose origin is humble and is rooted in (Rio’s) Baixada Fluminense region and Vidigal slum. Despite knowing what racism is and having already suffered from prejudice, apparently Marcello Melo ignores that racism also affects black women, who suffer other types of oppression, such as measuring up to socially accepted standards of beauty. Of course, this is partly justified when someone parading with a white woman at his side that affectionately calls him “Chimpz” (or “chipz”), short for “chimpanzee”. A black man being called macaco (monkey) … We are searching for the novelty. Marcello Melo does not deny his origin and boasts about his being raised in the favela, but does not hesitate a second to demoralize a mulher preta (black woman). The black woman is not a standard of beauty not even for him you could say in passing.
The fact is that Globo actor naturalized the ridiculization of the black women, exposed with the intent to further ridicule another black woman who criticized him, and went into the personal profiles of another two (so far) black women ridiculing them calling them “sucker” and “ugly as hell” because they were defending a sister. All of this under the applause of white people, fans of the Globo actor, unconditionally supporters of a sexist man. To respond to the question of the beginning of this text: this is what happens when we do not remain silent.
This is exactly how the racist, sexist and misogynist ideology works: it does not allow that we realize its naturalization process of the senses – that have absolutely origin in the subjects who manifest them – but that speaks through this racist, sexist and misogynist subject.
The Globo actor managed to put together a couple dozen sexist and misogynistic insults and, so far, ZERO arguments to counter with any quality the reproduction of racism of which he was charged. From the commonplace itself of those blinded by their privileges (social and gender, for example), Marcello Melo believes that women who criticize him do so for lack of a man that “coma” (“eats”/fucks) them; sustains the nickname of “chimpanzee”, Marcello Melo tries to reach black women who criticize him calling them “feias” (ugly ones); to all very well-grounded arguments accusing him of racism, Marcello Melo responds with a “vai tomar no cu” (take it in the ass/fuck off). Marcello Melo, responds to all the black women whom you’ve offended. Retract yourself with the whole community of black women who are politicized enough not to push it under the rug and support this, your reproduction of disgusting racism! Retract yourself, apologize for your racist misogyny. Take advantage and retract yourself for being another black man who ascends socially and does not engage in anti-racist struggle that should be yours too! It’s worth doing this parading with a white girl at your side and being a Globo actor. That does not make you less black.
Other reactions to Melo’s Instagram comments
Anonymous #2: I imagine that you will never read this but I read your “joke” and “apology” that is almost an attack and an apology only having the word. And I will say one thing, brother, in a very good way: get out of the senzala (slave house) and come to the quilombo (maroon society). You have a lot to learn because with this white group, this white girlfriend, white media, you are really forgetting that you are black.
Anonymous #3: We have the prints (copies). He went into the inbox of the girls offending them, calling them ugly and bad food, which by signal demonstrates very much his childishness and sexism. Finally, get informed.
Stephanie Ribeiro: Marcello Melo exhibited Laura Astrolabio in his instagram, after they disagreed with his sexist, racist post, the news ended up at the UOL website, now we take satisfaction commenting in his instagram, he not only call me bad food, he called me ugly, Marcello a GLOBO ACTOR, black man, that dates a white woman and is offending black women without end for more than an hour. It will not go away dear!
Note from BW of Brazil: This situation is shameful on so many levels. This writer has seen actor Marcello Melo in a number of novelas although I am not particularly a fan of soap operas. The ironic thing is that I happened to be flicking through the pages of Revista Caras (Caras magazine) a few weeks ago when I saw the actor on vacation with his girlfriend. If you’ve followed this blog for long enough, you should already know what she looks like! After all, it’s pretty much the rule! I didn’t really take note of the girl’s name but she appears to be a different girl from the one featured in the photo above. The point of today’s article wasn’t even about his girlfriend or his relationship, but with this recent online squabble his selection of mates is very much pertinent to the issue considering his behavior with black women!
Melo’s behavior in this controversy gets to the root of what the whole point is in even discussing interracial relationships. I’ve had this conversation with numerous black Brazilian women who have the opinion that black Brazilian men use them only for sexual relationships and treat them as second-class women that is when they notice them at all. Many people (mostly black Brazilian men) like to argue that race should have nothing to do with one’s selection in terms of relationships, but I would argue that the consistent choice of these men shunning women of their own race to almost unanimously choose women who belong to the race that they will complain about if and when they encounter racism is proof positive that these men in fact don’t really understand how race and white supremacy works. In today’s example, this black actor completely disrespects the fact that he had offended a group of black women and viciously insulted not one, not two but four of them in such a crude manner.
This idiot even goes on to insult these women by insinuating that no man would even want to have sex with them! Melo tells one woman to go and hunt for a husband, another verbal dagger as he surely knows of the difficulty that black women do in fact have in a dilemma that black men such as Melo himself help to perpetuate due to a noticeable proclivity for dating and marrying non-black women! We always hear the rhetoric of “amor não tem cor” (love has no color) but I would argue that the actor’s comments go far beyond this tired excuse. It speaks to the point that a large number of successful black Brazilian people don’t seem to understand how this individual success can be the springboard for collective success.
By insinuating that these black women were “ugly”, “bad food” and that no man would want to sleep with them, Melo repeats the same crass, racist comments of the white supremacist who referred to the black woman as a “nightmare”. This actor may pride himself in being black, but apparently that pride doesn’t extend itself to the pride and defense of the women who are equally black and have supported his career. Besides this, for some reason, I simply can’t see Melo insulting white women in this same manner. As the true sentiments of black men toward black women continue to show themselves, it’s great to see a rising unity among black Brazilian women who support each other as they have seen time and time again, they will not be receiving this sort of support from black men anytime soon. And as it’s plainly obvious to many of us, in disrespecting black women in front of so many of the his white followers, and following the trend of successful black men overwhelmingly partnering with white women, Melo shows that he may be physically free, but that the colonial chains of slavery continue to shackle his mind!
1. In the original Portuguese, the actor wrote, “Mau comida, não. Pq (Porque) ninguém deve comer vcs!” In Portuguese slang, the term “comer” means both “to eat” and “to fuck” while “comida” means food. “Mau comida” means literally “bad food” but in everyday dialogue, it refers to a woman who is always in a bad mood, is considered a bad sex partner or never receives pleasure from sexual activity and, as such, always complains or is in a bad mood.