Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

White woman’s world? Why did a black actress mysteriously “disappear” from a popular shoe brand’s commercial?


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Note from BW of Brazil: You really can’t make this type of stuff up! Of course I can already imagine that those who prefer not to see certain facts will attempt diminish the reality of the facts.  “‘Somos todos iguais‘” (we are all equal), why do you keep complaining about these things?”, they would surely say. But the fact is, if one doesn’t pay close attention to the blatant trickery of Brazil’s mass media, you can be lulled into really believing that a problem doesn’t exist. But when you present fact after fact, people have a few choices to make when confronted with the issue. 1) Pretend the problem doesn’t exist or is highly exaggerated, 2) Lie and say that “color doesn’t matter” or representation is universal or 3) Come to terms with the reality and admit that we are NOT all (treated) equally. 

Many years ago, Brazil’s media may have gotten away with such acts, but nowadays with more of the Afro-Brazilian population educated and in tune to hypocrisy, lies, manipulation and deception, they are challenging every racial myth that each genre of the society attempts to pass off as true. And in the internet age, it’s much easier to provide evidence of the accusations. Yesterday, we showed you how the Ministry of Education deliberately ‘whitened’ the racial characteristics of a black child prodigy student who won a contest in the field of neurosciences and will represent Brazil in Denmark later year. Today, we show you how a shoe brand’s commercial went even further than that by basically eliminating a black actress from the main sequence of a commercial after her initial appearance. We’ve shown you time and time again how Brazil prefers to present itself to both its own people and the world as a white nation and that black women will forever being as second to the white woman, if she isn’t directly serving her (as another retail ad seemed to suggest a few years ago). Today, we simply provide you with yet another example of the practice of ‘embranquecimento‘ (whitening). 

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Still from Picadilly commercial

Black actress “mysteriously” disappears from Piccadilly commercial

One of the greatest mysteries of mankind emerged in recent days with the release of a Piccadilly women’s footwear commercial.

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Still from Picadilly commercial

The commercial even started off well, with beautiful women singing the song “Dancing Days” by Lulu Santos. It gets better when at the 6 second mark of the video appears a beautiful black woman singing a snippet of the song. As part of the video, these women are all preparing to “spread their wings and release the beasts”, as suggested by the song. After preparing themselves, as those who go “to the day-to-day,” they leave home and perform a choreographed dance on the street to the music while still singing. First 5 women who form the “first echelon” of the commercial and choreography leave their houses. Until then beautiful, we are already “accustomed” to not being in the first echelon.

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Still from Picadilly commercial

But all was not was lost because other women continue to leave their houses and be a part of the choreography group. I thought: “Now, yes, ours, our black women of the 6 second mark will appear and jump into the choreography.” I was mistaken.

With these new girls involved in the choreography, in a setting reminiscent of the village street are a total of 11 women dancing and another sitting. Beside this one who is sitting there’s even a man. Both extras are watching all those beautiful and powerful women, dancing and releasing their beasts. But none of the women who are dancing, or the man, is our black girl from the 6 second mark.

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I would like to ask a question on the air for those who wish to respond. Where is the black girl of 6 second mark?

Likely possibilities:

The recording was divided into two days and she couldn’t attend on the day of choreography as she caught H1N1.

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When they found out that the black girl didn’t know how to dance she was replaced by a blonde.

She did dance. But spinning with a high-heeled shoe she twisted her ankle and was replaced by a blonde.

The words “caia na gandaia” (get into the party) that she sings at the 6 second mark fits better with black women than “livre leve e linda” (free light and beautiful) that they sing while doing the choreography.

She is actually the man who is sitting. The extra was missing and they could only put her in, as she was more convincing as a man standing to the side, dressed up as such.

She was represented by the black bike that appears at the 29, 32, 41, 44, 46, 48, 51 and 55 second mark.

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Choreography in Picadilly commercial

If the Piccadilly or anyone on the planet has the response to the reasons of the black girl of 6 second mark disappearing from the video, and no other black woman being put in her place, please contact our humble staff.

Meanwhile, we encourage our sisters, that they consider as having more value than a bicycle, since it appeared more than the black girl of the 6 second mark, that didn’t put her little feet of a queen in Piccadilly brand shoes. Because, after all, you can feel free, light and beautiful being barefoot, in flip flops or in Louboutin, but must never cease to be represented because your money has no color and is very well accepted by any company.

What matters is that we are represented and in the right way, the way that please us, yes. We do not want to be represented in any manner or have less prestige than a bicycle. We want leadership, being on the front line. After all, we are more than half the population of this country and we move 500 billion reais every year.

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Meninas pretas (black girls) of Brazil, for now, don’t buy shoes from this brand until some retraction or changes in its advertising conduct are made. A mulher negra (black woman) doesn’t need any brand to feel free, light and beautiful.

If I don’t see myself, I don’t buy!!

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Piccadilly sends an explanatory note to TNM on the “disappearance” of actress in commercial

Yesterday TNM published a story about the disappearance of the only black actress in a Piccadilly footwear commercial. If you didn’t see it, see it HERE (story above). Today, we received a note of clarification on what happened. At the end of the note, we put in our observations, read to the end.

See the commercial

Full Disclosure

Piccadilly regrets the fact raised by the Todos Negros do Mundo (All Blacks of the Wolrd) portal. There was a technical problem in the directing of the script, but at no time did the company intend to depreciate the participation of the black model in question. Piccadilly reports that feedback has been analyzed by the company and considered it as constructive criticism, which will certainly be taken into account in the next actions taken by the brand.

Piccadilly is a 60-year-old company, which has always acted ethically and with respect, having as a priority and reason of its work and success of all women. There was never any kind of discrimination on the part of the company.

It is important to inform that the last fashion show where the brand was present, the star chosen to represent Piccadilly was the beautiful actress Cris Vianna, who exposed and transpired on the catwalk the love and care that the brand has for all women.

http://www.estilososnometro.com.br/2015/09/os-famosos-no-oscar-fashion-days-1-dia.html

With our admiration and respect.

Piccadilly Company

Our considerations

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Of course TNM (Todos Negros do Mundo website), as a communication vehicle that purports to wear the shirt of the black cause and arose precisely to denounce the absence of blacks in the audiovisual and media in general, feel satisfied to receive a note of clarification from the company, which shows respect for our position. But we still do not understand the disappearance of the actress and do not agree with many parts of the note. They are:

Lamenting the fact that everyone regrets (especially us); but usually only regretting not correcting. Even a guy who calls another monkey on the street, as soon as he’s caught or confronted ends up “lamenting” what happened and continues being racist.

We can’t believe that there was a “technical problem in the direction of the script” by the simple fact that, before being shot, any script passes through the screen of the client. The script is only prepared and filmed respecting the desires of the client (Piccadilly) and after several briefings.

In terms of the direction of the script, we know that on every set of an advertising or institutional film, the client (company) is always present, usually with an eye for the VA (video assist) tuned so that everything goes as planned and according to the approved script. The client has the power to request changes, as during recording, if he/she perceives that something is not in agreement.

Once the script is approved the next step is to choose and approve the models or actresses to star in the campaign. We can’t believe that Piccadilly hadn’t found one or more black models and actresses who could give the company the honor of wearing one of their shoes and lending their beauty, truly Brazilian, dancing or interpreting. What you showed in the campaign is not the reality of Brazil, maybe Denmark (1), Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands or Russia.

Once filming is finalized, the next step is editing. Several edited versions are sent to the client for validation and correction of potential errors, and so that it fits the client’s liking. Only after final approval is it that the film will air.

The intention of devaluing a person, a group of people or a race no one has. At least no one says they have. The problem of racism in Brazil is exactly this, racism is veiled. No one admits to being racist or that they have, in fact, the intention of not tending to or representing a particular ethnicity or group.

We believe that you had considered that the criticism is constructive, if you resolve this issue in your next advertising film. In the Mother’s Day video, which was after this that we saw the problem has not been resolved. We consider resolving the problem when you put black models and actresses in the correct proportion of the black population in Brazil, 52%. Only one model doesn’t resolve it, it only demonstrating that you are putting her there because of obligation.

A company with 60 years of existence has had enough time to grow as an institution but has it still failed to grow in essence? 60 years is long enough to perceive your audience and mainly follow the changes that happened. Despite all the problems of the country, it has evolved and people have also evolved. One such change is exactly the improvement of social conditions and purchasing power of a good part of most of the black and poor population of a long time ago. Another change that has happened over these 60 years is the increased consciousness of self appreciation of the woman. Today, the black, fat, trans, Asian woman to see themselves represented. For some time there has existed the thought of tying consumption to representativeness. Apparently, 60 years served in order for the shoe models to evolve or for the company to grow selling the image of the perfect woman based on what the company considers and only (the company). Mulher branca eurocêntrica (Eurocentric white woman), “beautiful”, rail thin, and because of this, “powerful”. I’m sorry to inform you, but all women feel powerful and don’t need a shoe for this. Today, black women feel powerful with their cabelos crespos enormes (enourmous kinky/curly hair), shaved, black, pink, blue or in the color and style that she wants. She feels powerful being overweight, underweight, liking a man, a woman or even man and woman at the same time.

As for the last fashion show that you mentioned, in which you used the image of the actress Cris Vianna, that’s nice on your part. But does the fact that she is famous not speak louder? I say this because the unknown black woman in the commercial didn’t appear for more than 1 second. And another thing, it’s one thing to use one black woman on a show for 400 people in the audience and half a dozen photographers. Another thing is to use a black woman in a TV commercial for 200 million people throughout Brazil, considering that 97% of Brazilian households have televisions. It’s well known that in  advertising many companies don’t want to hitch their products to the black image so that their brands don’t seem “too popular”. Is this is not the case of Piccadilly? After all, it would be easy to understand that a company with the thought of 60 years ago still believing that a black woman can not pass the message of luxury, glamour and power. Believe me, you are not alone in this universe of prejudices, many companies act like this.

Anyway, we are not irresponsible to the point of speaking without searching or going after information. We consulted the Piccaddilly channel on YouTube and didn’t find a single black person in any of your videos. On the company’s Facebook page there is also no black model. If there is a campaign where you use black models or actresses in videos that went to TV, please send them to us. We will gladly publish them.

We hope that this experience really serves for something. We will believe that you are sincere in saying that you have the greatest affection and respect for all women if in your next commercial you use the theme “diversity.” We challenge you to use black models, redheads, Asians, white women, plus size, trans, tall and short. We promise a formal apology and will post the campaign with the greatest pleasure in the world. As long as this doesn’t happen, we will continue the appeal to black women or any others who feel outraged, to continue to not buy your products. After all, there is no explanation for not having a single black woman of the 12 women that you used in this campaign. There is no explanation for a company with 60 years on the market, to have not noticed these various steps mentioned above for the creation of the campaign, that there was a problem.

Unfortunately, the reality is that besides having an aesthetic denial the market does not consider the black citizen as a consumer, despite their being. The black population that represents 52% of the population consumes between R$400 and R$500 billion a year, according to estimates by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), even having a lower purchasing power in a consumer universe of R$3.3 trillion of GDP.

Let’s take an example of a success story, an attentive and evolved company.

In 2015, the hypermarket network of Carrefour conducted a survey of its 72,000 employees and target audience, and was surprised by the result. Half of its clients were black descendants. In addition, the network of hypermarkets of French origin saw a problem, there was no equivalence within the company among employees. That is, they did not have 52% of black employees as Brazil has in the population.

With this finding, the retailer decided to diversify in their advertising campaigns, print or TV, as well as adopting a different attitude at the time of hiring of employees. Considering that your target audience (all that consume) would like to see themselves represented, they began to use more black people in their advertising campaigns and also have more blacks as employees.

If the money of blacks has the same value for Piccadilly, we advise you to change your position and begin to act differently. If not, probably a drop of 52% in revenues will not be very healthy for the company. After all, times have changed and blacks today have more information and purchasing power than 60 years ago. Worry about the evolution, because it goes beyond comfortable models of shoes.

For us, representation matters. If I don’t see myself, I don’t buy!

Source: Todos Negros do Mundo, Todos Negros do Mundo (2)

Note

  1. In describing Brazil’s mass media’s obsession with whiteness in its representation, you will notice that many activists refer to Denmark when addressing the racial characteristics of Brazilians mostly shown in the media.

8 comments on “White woman’s world? Why did a black actress mysteriously “disappear” from a popular shoe brand’s commercial?

  1. Amon
    June 5, 2016

    Wow that was both subtle and blatantly obvious at the same time. Its amazing how the Brazilian media wants to play the equality card and say that Brazil is a completely mixed country while only displaying white people in commercials who look absolutely nothing like the average Brazilian woman.

    This may be suitable for a Neo Nazi promo vid in Rio Grande Do Sul, but other than that it is unacceptable.

    Here in the US we at least have BET, the Atlanta Film Industry, and other local black channels, where almost all of the people that you see in the commercials and on TV will be black. These media outlets generally produce apolitical nonsense but at least they are black.

    I think that there needs to be something similar in Brazil. Maybe in a place like Recife, or Sao Luis with a black majority.

    • Mike
      June 5, 2016

      There was a channel called TV da Gente or People’s TV that was created in 2005 specifically for Black Brazilians. It was founded by a Black man named Netinho de Paula and for financial reason was shut down in 2007.

      Its a shame that the channel was shut down. It was a great step in the right direction for Black Brazilians.

  2. Bamabrasileira
    June 6, 2016

    Wow! I actually see this as another victory for Black Brazilians! I can recall that only 1-2 years ago, big companies like this would not even acknowledge complaints about racial inequality. However, this company’s PR team has clearly taken the co plaints seriously enough to try to make a fully formed statement on how it values it’s Black customers. Though it may seem small, again, such things must be acknowledged! I sense the growing solidarity and power of Black Brazilians!

    • Mike
      June 6, 2016

      No Bamabrasileira, It isn’t a victory at all. Picadilly only wrote the letter to come up
      with a BS excuse for not fully showing the Black women. They also wrote the letter
      to shut up Black Brazilians who were about to complain loudly.

      This is one of the oldest tricks of White Supremacy ever and YOU fell for it.
      The White Supremacist love throwing Black people a bone and in order to gain
      White acceptance some Black people will gladly eat up the bone. I hope you realize that NOTHING is about to change in Brazilian media and that this type of thing will continue to happen.

      Picadilly is run by White Supremacists. Plain and simple.

      • PTR
        June 6, 2016

        Agree with you, Mike.

      • Bamabrasileira
        June 7, 2016

        I understand your sentiment but you must realize that we are talking about Brazil and not the USA. We are also talking about a place where a lot of the Black folks didn’t even know they were Black until recently. We are also talking about a place where companies do not generally even send out a letter like this to even acknowledge that anything wrong was done against the Black citizens. In my ideal world, white supremacy would just go away over night. But that is not the world we live in-particularly in Brazil. This is a small victory but more must be done. Those who just mindlessly say “we live in a system of white supremacy and that’s just the way it is!” Are not living an empowered mindset . People who want to spout rhetoric without action are just wasting energy. The truth is that in the context of Brazil, this is absolutely a small step forward. But the people here must continuously apply pressure when needed. Systemic change takes time and consistent energy applied in the right places. We have not seen this in Brazil to any effect in the past as we are seeing now…

  3. Paula
    June 6, 2016

    This commercial is an insult, funny Brazil has the highest amount of Black Brazilians. but fails to show a black Brazilian in their commerical.

    • Tim
      September 6, 2016

      It’s not funny at all. It’s a tragedy. And you can’t even boycott them because practically everything is owned by Whites in Brazil.

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This entry was posted on June 3, 2016 by in Afro Brazilians, black women, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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