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We Spoke to Activist Blog ‘Blogueiras Negras’ About Brazil’s Controversial series ‘Sexo e as Negas’

Not too long ago, we covered Brazil’s controversial series Sexo e as Negas (translation: Sex and the Niggas) which has sparked outrage among people of color in Brazil. The show, supposedly an adaptation of Sex and the City, has received lots of criticism due to it’s racist title and hyper-sexual depictions of Black women. Among those in the forefront of challenging the show’s producers has been the women of Blogueiras Negras, who created a petition and a social media campaign to against the series.

Since the show debuted last year, they have used their blog as a platform to bring together other Black women in Brazil to work towards getting Sexo e a Negas off the air by launching the #AsNegasReal hashtag to show images of real Black Brazilian women and also #sexoeasnegasnaomerepresenta (Sexo e as Negas does not represent me). We spoke to Narissa Santigo and Nênis Vieira of Blogueiras Negras to get an update on their progress and more insight into how Black Brazilians are depicted in entertainment.

OW: Please tell us about your blog, Bloguieras Negras.

Larissa: Blogueiras Negras is a community and also a communication vehicle. We are an online community where there is more than 500 black women from all Brazilian states. A vehicle which publishes daily news by and about black Brazilian women, focused on giving visibility to stories and of the women that came before us. We use several social networks, such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for our campaigns such as #AsNegaReal – or #RealBlackWomen.

OW: Can you tell us about the show “Sexo e as Negas”?

Larissa: The show was a short serie of 13 episodes, where each one explored a different subject addressing sex, racism, transportation, etc. At the end of each episode, the leading actress always sings and dances to something related to the subject. The show superficially incorporated things like the myth of a racial democracy, assumptions that black people are more racist than everyone else and also insinuations to the hyper sexual Black maid were subliminally placed in the plots.

OW: Why is there so much controversy about the show?

Larissa: Despite being a show that stars black women, it’s unsuccessful in empowering black women’s voice. The subjects addressed in each episode fall really short, and try to suggest that racism and sexism do not exist. Overall it just reinforces sexist and racist stereotypes of black women.

OW: Why do you think an offensive show like this is allowed to air on national TV in Brazil?

Larissa: In Brazil, black people are half of the entire population, but the major media companies are owned by wealthy whites, so there is a huge gap when talking about representation of the country’s diversity. Is not easy to find a young black actor or actress in newspapers or advertisements. Therefore, there is  little care in [representing us correctly].

OW: What are some common negative or racists stereotypes about Black Brazilians?

Larissa: Brazilian television has been in the forefront of stereotyping and branding black people image [poorly], especially women, because not only racism but also sexism is incorporated into the scripts. The “hot” black women always available for sex or the maid, are a couple of popular stereotypes. Also, lately there has been comedy shows where blackface is used. [For example in the case of D. Adelaide (a poor black women who asks for money at the subway) played by Rodrigo Santana.]

OW: Do you think TV shows and movies in general promote stereotypes or negative images of Black Brazilians?

Nênis: Not only TV shows and movies, but also the majority of media promotes those stereotypes. It happens in forms of media. What are some of your goals for the campaign you launched against the show such as #AsNegasReal and also #sexoeasnegasnaomerepresenta?

OW: Does it seem to be it working?

Nênis: The focus is to show real black women, not [stereotypical characters created and regurgitated  by media]. Thus, besides raising awareness of how prejudice this is, we also give a voice to different women, their realities and wishes, which are different for each one.

OW: Are there any popular shows or programs that showcase positive and healthy images of Black women in Brazil?

Larissa: If we talk about non fictional production, some shows on public TVs allow black women to have a better representation. Shows like “Aglomerado” – TV Brasil production with a partnership with CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) on Rio de Janeiro – hosted by the rapper Nega Gizza, show culture and music from the brazilian outskirts.

Generally, drama series and soap operas, hav not changed. Looking at the big concentration of productions made by the biggest media company in the country, it is easy to see that black women still are underrepresented – or often in subordinated roles. For an example, the newest series on the channel will have a black woman as the main character, Camila Silva, who will be a sex worker and mistress of the main male character.

OW: In your opinion, what are some similarities between the way Black women in Brazil and Black women in the U.S. are depicted on television?

Larissa: Despite knowing less about television in the US, I believe there is a substantial difference with respect to the representation. The number of black actresses that are shown in American is much greater than in Brazil – a country where we almost more than half of the entire population. As far as similarities, I believe that hypersexualization and exotic representation might be the biggest thing in common.


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Tight roping, side-eyeing, and analyzing my way through the complexities and spaces where life, art, and culture connect.


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