“Black, right? It’s a black thing for sure!” Caught by a live mic making a racist statement, well-known reporter William Waack removed from top TV news journal


Note from BW of Brazil: Well, can anyone guess the top story of the past few terms in terms of the racial situation in Brazil? If you said the William Waack controversy, stand up and go to the front of the class! OK, so maybe you don’t live in Brazil and as such don’t know what I’m talking about. So let me fill you in real quick. In a video that was recently leaked, well-known Globo TV news journalist William Waack was caught making a racially insensitive comment in front of the camera as he and guest prepared to make on-air comments in their coverage of Donald Trump’s election in the United States last year. 

Waack’s comment was on many people’s minds in recent days

Ever since the video appeared online, there has been a frenzy of comments all over social media calling for Waack’s removal as well as people sharing their opinions on the whole thing. The whole thing speaks volumes about how such jokes/attitudes are so common in Brazil even as so many people continue to at least attempt to hide/deny the fact. As many of us who follow the racial situation in Brazil very well remember, in 2006, Globo TV’s director of journalism Ali Kamel actually released a book called Não somos racistas, meaning ‘we are not racists’. As this blog has covered the topic of racism and provided numerous examples over the years, I’ll let you be the judge of the validity of the book’s title. 


Opining on the Waack controversy, Daniela Gomes stated the following: “William Waack expresses in a video that which the racist Brazilian says when no one is looking. Besides this, it well symbolizes the white Brazilian outside of the country that feels free to say things that he/she doesn’t always feel free to say at home.” In some ways, I agree with what she wrote. But on the other hand, as I have stated in numerous posts, Brazil is home to various racist attitudes. There are those who will duck and hide their heads after getting caught saying/doing something racist precisely because the national mythology of which so many continue to participate says that Brazilians don’t think in such a way. But on the other hand, there are untold numbers of Brazilians who feel quite comfortable saying and doing blatantly racist things. And as racism is in Brazil’s DNA, there is nothing surprising to me about Waack’s comments. People say these types of things every day. On top of that, Globo TV is one of the greatest purveyors of racist content in the media. The only difference here is that Waack got caught saying something that he never thought anyone would see. 

So, what’s going to happen now? My bet would be not much. Globo TV may have temporarily removed him from his slot, but with certainty, he will be back. I mean, as we’ve seen, if a lesser known journalist can call a black woman a monkey on live TV, get fired and then get another job, a long-time, highly-respected journalist like Waack will certainly be back soon and this incident will be filed away in the memory of one of the world’s most consistent “non-racist” racist countries in the world. 

william waack - paulo-sotero
Journalist William Waack (right) caught making racist statement during break of coverage of the American election in 2016

William Waack is removed from Jornal da Globo after video falls on the web

“Black, right? It’s a black thing for sure,” said the presenter in the video.

Courtesy of Correio 24 Horas

Globo Network reported Wednesday night (8) that journalist William Waack will be removed from Jornal da Globo. The decision comes after a video showing a leaked comment a TV newscast. In the images, Waack is in Washington, USA, and complains about a driver passing by honking. “You’re honking for what, you fucking dick?”, the journalist said. He then says to the guest next to him, “I won’t even talk, I know who he is …” Then he turns to the guest and says – in a lower tone: “Preto, né? É coisa de preto com certeza”. (Black, right? It’s a black thing for sure)

Globo said that at first, the journalist is away until “the situation is clarified” and that tomorrow it will discuss the implications in the long term. It further says that it is “viscerally against racism in all its forms and manifestations.” Waack himself has not yet come to the public to comment on the case, but according to the Globo note he “does not remember what he said, since the audio is unclear,” but apologizes to anyone who feels offended.

The television news will be presented by Renata Lo Prete, Waack’s “official” replacement in the program.

Waack comment made headlines all over the internet

The video is from November 8 last year in coverage on the election of Donald Trump as US President. Waack is alongside Paulo Sotero, director of the Wilson Center, who commented on the occasion. “I think William is not like that. I certainly am not like that, I repudiate racism,” Sotero told Buzzfeed News today. After seeing the video, he stated that he could not hear what Waack said. “It did not hit me at the time, and it would have struck me because I don’t play around with racism, sexism and homophobia,” he said.

The hashtag #WilliamWaack was ranked second among the most talked about Twitter topics in Brazil this afternoon because of the video. “Whoever works on Globo and decided to leak this video of William Waack has our eternal gratitude,” commented a Twitter user. “I shouldn’t be shocked, but I am,” commented another ‘net surfer.

Read the note issued by Globo:

“Globo is viscerally opposed to racism in all its forms and manifestations, and no circumstance can serve as a mitigating factor.” Globo is thus removing host William Waack from his functions as a result of the video circulated on the Internet today, until the situation is clarified.

In it, just minutes before being aired during the coverage of last year’s US elections, someone on the street blows the horn, and Waack, annoyed, makes racist comments. Waack says he does not remember what he said, since the audio is unclear, but he apologizes sincerely to those who felt outraged by the situation.

William Waack is one of the most respected Brazilian professionals, with an extensive curriculum of services to the journalism. Globo, starting tomorrow, will start conversations with him to decide how the next steps will unfold “

Source: Correio 24 Horas

About Marques Travae 2894 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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