Reality television have spawned some ugly shows. The fact is, we are seeing the dumbing-down of television shows. The latest show being blasted is Brazil’s “Sex and the N*ggaz” for its depiction of black women. This is just too ratchet.
Here’s one the critiques from Media Diversified:
TV Channel Globo, one of the largest television networks in Brazil, is broadcasting a series called “Sexo e as Negas”. The series is an adaptation of Sex and the City, but this time with four Black actresses. The series has been written by the famous White actor, writer and producer Miguel Fallabella.
The very title of the series is itself hugely problematic, not only because race is the primary signifier of the women, but also because the terms are full of racist and gendered connotations, such as the vernacular Brazilian expression “I’m not your niggaz “. In racist discourses, Black women are those who work for sex, while the white woman is the woman who is worthy of romantic love, kindness and respect. These same dualities are repeated in “Sexo e as Negas”, where the main character is a white woman who seeks love, while the black women live only for sex, which reminds us of another Brazilian expression which also has its roots in slavery and has remained practically unchanged – “White women are for marriage, mulatas are for fu**ing and black women are for work”.
In the series the narrator is a white person. She is a voyeur; someone who is looking through a keyhole at the sexuality and the bodies of black women who can be raped and manipulated by structural whiteness, not only literally but also through cultural representation. Our existence is fetishised. We are on display for the white gaze. Moreover, even when the characters are placed in situations of explicit racism and sexism, they do not react. The women remain silent or dissolve into strange giggles. These women do not represent us.
The black feminist critique has gone straight to the heart of the matter, denouncing stereotypes and the symbolic violence of these representations where black women are both hypersexualized and passive in the face of racism and sexism. At Blogueiras Negras (or Black Bloggers, a blog written only by black women), we have an alternative series on our youtube channel where we have been able to express our anger. We have also started a National Boycott Movement of the series, including exposing the companies that have sponsored it, namely TIM , VIVO , Avon , Pedigree, Sadia , Itaú , Dermodex , AmBev.
The author of the series says he is an ally; someone who has struggled to discuss issues of blackness. The same author released a statement on his facebook trying to silence us while mocking our criticism, comparing himself to Spike Lee and calling black women who did not accept his work “bush captains” – a name for slave hunters in Brazil. His response included, “Oh! ni**az … give me a break”. On another occasion, Fallabella suggesed that our reaction was down to a sheer lack of intelligence
Watch a preview of “Sex and the N*ggaz, SMH:
Black Women of Brazil also had something to say:
Last night, the controversial new Globo TV series Sexo e as negas took its second episode on the air. The debate over this program has been all over the internet and in the streets even before it debuted last Tuesday night (16). But, as most English speakers don’t have access to the program and it is in Portuguese, many are probably in the dark as to what all of the fuss is about. With so many black women taking to the internet and the streets to voice their disgust with the program’s continuation of long held stereotypes about black women and sexuality, Globo TV has been pulling out of the stops to convince their viewers that there is nothing problematic about the program.