Note from BW of Brazil: When I first came across this story I thought it was just another case of a white Brazilian expressing yet another racist thought. But after I took a second look at the case, I couldn’t help but perceive how this case speaks volumes about race in Brazil. The offender? A Brazilian woman who apparently lives in Canada, while some sources say she lives somewhere in the United States. The offended? The adopted black daughter of a well-known acting couple. From the South Africa, this is the second time that the little girl has been the target of racist comments, the first of which happened almost exactly one year ago. Before I go any further, let’s take a look at the story.
Titi, daughter of Giovanna Ewbank and Bruno Gagliasso, is called ‘macaca’ by a socialite
“Racism is a crime, and we are already taking due steps before the law,” warned Titi’s mother in a publication on Instagram
Courtesy of O Povo
The actress Giovanna Ewbank, 31, announced on Instagram on Sunday, 26, that she and her husband, Bruno Gagliasso, 35, will take legal action on the racism of socialite against their daughter, Titi. The four-year-old girl was called a “macaca” (monkey) by Day McCarthy in a video posted on social networks.
“I wanted to understand the false ones, the brown-nosers, who criticize me for my appearance, for not having blue eyes, straight hair and a beautiful, fine nose, as society imposes this kind of beauty. But they stay there on Bruno Gagliasso’s Instagram complimenting that macaca. A menina é preta, tem o cabelo horrível de pico de palha (The girl is black, she has horrible hay-tipped hair). And she has a nariz de preto (black nose), horrible, and the people say the girl is beautiful,” says the socialite.
In the continuation of the video, Day McCarthy complains about the people who criticize her on Instagram. “You’re only kissing up to them because she’s adopted by celebrities. A daughter she is not. As if two white people, with light eyes, are going to have a black daughter with hay hair and a black nose. Ah, ridiculous people, huh,” she attacks.
Giovana then published a message stating that legal steps are being taken. “Good Sunday with LOVE and the purity of a child to everyone who has sent us messages about what happened, racism is a crime, and we are already taking due steps before the law. Thank you,” wrote Ewbank.
Gagliasso published a photo with the phrase of the American philosopher Angela Davis. “In a racist society, it is not enough not to be racist, it is necessary to be anti-racist,” she cites.
In 2016, Titi was targeted by racist attacks on a photo on Instagram. Gagliasso lodged a complaint with the Computer Crime Repression Office (DRCI) because of the comments.
Seven people, including a 17-year-old teenager, were taken by the Rio de Janeiro Civil Police to provide clarification on the offenses. The young man confessed to having created a false profile to do the offenses.
Last August, McCarthy called the daughter of Roberto Justus and Ticiane Pinheiro, Rafaella, a “Chucky doll”.
Note from BW of Brazil: So, exactly who is this self-declared socialite known as “Day McCarthy” aka Dayane Alcântara Couto de Andrade? Below is a short write-up about the woman at the center of the controvery.
Day McCarthy: “I suffer racism and nobody does anything because I’m not the daughter of a celebrity”
Courtesy of Gente iG
The socialite was news this week after releasing a video with racist offenses against the daughter of Bruno Gagliasso and Giovanna Ewbank
“I was born with racist thinking,” socialite Day McCarthy said in an interview with the O Globo newspaper last Wednesday (29). The Brazilian, who is based in Canada and has citizenship of the country, was in the news this week after releasing a video in which she appears making very heavy criticisms to the little Titi, 4 years old, the adopted daughter of the actors Bruno Gagliasso and Giovanna Ewbank.
In the images released by all social networks, Dayane Alcantara Couto de Andrade, 28, the real name of Day McCarthy, calls Titi a macaca (monkey) and says that people should not say she was beautiful. Following the incident, actor Bruno Gagliasso contacted the Police Repression Service (DRCI), in the Police Department, in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro, and filed a complaint against the woman for racial insult. The actor also promised that he would sue Day, including in the country where she resides.
The socialite said that she has lawyers in Brazil and that she has not been notified of the lawsuit. She said she didn’t want to come to Brazil to respond the charges. “If he wants to sue me, come to Canada,” she said.
“I also suffered from racism”
The socialite also said he was black and made the video because she also suffered from racism on the internet. “I also had a lot of bullying at school because I was poor because I was fat, because I was ugly, I always went to the police station and nobody listened to me.” People also called me a “black monkey”, “Michael Jackson nose”, attacking me on the Instagram,” she said, adding: “I get many offenses of racism and nobody does anything because I’m not the daughter of the famous, not the daughter of the rich.”
Day also said that, just like Titi, she is also black and believes it to be the hypocrisy of people to insult and offend her because of her appearance, and claim that the girl is beautiful. In addition, she admitted to being racist, but said she cannot control her thoughts. “I was born with this racist thought, and I think it should be talked about. Of course, this is something you can control and not speak. But, you think this, for me it’s the same thing, it’s still racism,” she said.
She also compared the fact of being racist to the existence of homosexuals: “The same thing is with the gays, they will not stop being what they are because the society does not think it’s correct.” Yet, according to her, despite bothering with her “racist thinking” she can’t change her mind, just control what she says.
Previous prison and other controversies
Day McCarthy also confirmed that she was previously arrested during a trip to the United States for seeking the services of a garota de programa (call girl) to celebrate her husband’s birthday. According to her, they were in Virginia – the American state where prostitution is prohibited.
Note from BW of Brazil: OK, so, what makes this case so intriguing to me? Well, as horrific as the woman’s comments were against a child, her comments also show her to be honest in a way that most Brazilians are not; she admits to harboring racist thoughts. Now let’s be clear, I am in no way exonerating her for what she said, I am simply saying that at least she’s real enough to take responsibility for what she said and how she feels unlike the 92% of Brazilians who can admit the existence of racism in Brazil while only 1.3% of those same people will admit to being racist.
What you’ll also note here is yet another situation of a lighter-skinned person of African ancestry degrading another person whose African features are more prominent. It speaks of the millions of lighter-skinned non-white Brazilians who, inside, are thankful that they weren’t born darker-skinned with tightly coiled hair. Her comments also speak to the millions of lighter-skinned non-whites who are quick to admit that they have a black grandmother or grandfather while at the same time denying that they could also be seen as black. Her honest comments about also being a victim of racism and herself also having been called a monkey once again deflates the idea that lighter-skinned black people are somehow immune to Brazilian racism.
She’s also right about the fact that people are quick to blame black Brazilians who denounce complaints of racism as “whining” while two white celebrities such as Bruno and Giovanna have been getting messages of support ever since this incident broke. The celebrity status of this couple won’t necessarily shield the child from racist attacks now or in the future, but the status (and color) of her parents will definitely bring her advantages that other black children who experience such aggressions simply don’t have.
The comments about little Titi, while disgusting, are also very honest about how most Brazilians know they feel about dark skin and kinky hair. McCarthy/Andrade simply said something that she acknowledges as racist, that millions of Brazilians think about black people, particularly those of darker skin anyway. I’ve met plenty of lighter-skinned non-white Brazilians, usually teenagers, who openly admit that they wouldn’t touch someone with Titi’s color with a ten-foot pole. Day/Andrade’s comments speak to the endless list of famous Afro-Brazilian men (and women) who always “just happen to fall in love with” someone with white skin. It speaks to the wish of the Afro-Brazilian woman Daniele de Araújo, who, discovering she was pregnant by a much lighter-skinned man, had but one wish: Her baby had to be white. The 2010 study “Aborto: livre escolha?” (Kalckmann and Pinto) also discovered a preference of many black women of giving birth to white children, with one of the interviewees flatly stating that she “Não gostaria de ter um filho preto”, meaning she “would not like to have a black child”. This attitude was documented in classic studies of race in Brazil back in 1960s and continues to be a strong preference still today.
To close, I reiterate that McCarthy/Andrade’s comments were repugnant and she should pay the price for insulting a small child. But honestly, I’d much rather deal with her openly racist thoughts rather than those people who smile and pretend that “we’re all equal” in your face while thinking every racist thought one can imagine internally.