Note from BW of Brazil: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am NOT a fan of reality shows! These programs are simply more evidence of how media engineering has lowered society’s moral fabric, increasingly low standards of what is considered “entertainment”, what people are willing to do for 15 minutes of fame and the overall “dumbing down” of consciousness. I can’t say that there has never been a single reality show that I didn’t watch, but that was a LONG time ago! I mean, after seeing how ridiculous this programs can get, I don’t get how people keep coming back for more. The funny thing is, even not following what happens on the ever popular Globo TV reality show Big Brother Brasil, it’s participants and situations have actually ended up on this blog quite a bit! The message here is that, even though the show hardly focuses on the topic of race, as it continues to be the “elephant in the room” that the nation has such difficulty facing directly (even when it figures so prominently in social inequality), it’s only natural that it comes out from time to time.
This latest episode finds its way to the blog because it made headlines and was the topic of social networking discussions a few weeks ago. Not only was the treatment of the black contestant very typical but so was the host’s avoidance of the topic of racism. Rack up another example of Brazil just pushing the issue under the rug! (1)
Reality show Bial stifles discussion of racism after elimination of Angélica on BBB15
Courtesy of Bahia Notícias
After the elimination of Angélica on Big Brother Brazil 15 with 69% of the vote late on Tuesday (24), the participant’s mother was interviewed by host Pedro Bial and explained why she was happy with her daughter’s elimination.
“[I am thankful] because of what my daughter was going through here and what we were going through there. I was requesting to my God, my orixás (deities), my father Ogun, my mother Oxum (2), because we were suffering too much out here with racism,” said Carmen Ramos, as she was interrupted by the host, who changed the subject. Her daughter also spoke about it after the program, in an interview with reporters.
“It must be very hard to assume that there is a black woman on such a cool program that is smart, beautiful, a mother and that fights for their things in a simple and honest way. People need to understand that I am what I am, being Angélica without demoting myself,” said Angélica.
With fear of racist attacks, Angélica’s children stop going to school
By Paul Belote
Angélica’s family is going through difficult times during the confinement of the nursing assistant. She has been the target of several racist attacks on social networks, which has affected her children’s routine.
“People are sharing on social networks montages of my sister with a macaca (monkey) (3), saying that a preto (black) could not be on the BBB, among other insults. It all started after her fight with Fernando. Her fans and Aline’s fans are those that did the most harm to her,” says Érika Ramos, Angélica’s sister
According to the newspaper Extra, Angélica’s two children, Luiz Otavio, 7, and Vinícius, 4, stopped going to school because the family is afraid that they will be targets of racism. Érika also revealed that she’s already gone to the delegacia (police station) and is filing a lawsuit against the people who made racist posts.
“We’re not doing this for financial reasons, but for people to take the shame in their face. Preto (Black) is the color of shoes, we are black and we are worthy of respect,” she concludes.
Pedro Bial conversation with Angélica’s mother after her elimination, leaving the program in the fifth wall (vote percentage screen) of the program
by Mauricio Stycer
The real world eventually knocked at the door of Big Brother Brasil. This year, with three black participants (Angélica, Douglas and Luan), a number above the historical average of the program, the subject of racism came up quickly – within and outside the house.
The nursing assistant was who clearly most expressed interest in talking about it. On the first day, Angélica was angry with Luan after hearing him say, half jokingly, that “todo preto é ladrão” (every black is a thief). She protested: “This obsession of blacks wanting to demoralize blacks is ridiculous. Blacks inferiorize themselves. It’s prejudicial,” she told friends in the house.
This week, the issue resurfaced because of a comment of Mariza, at learning of one of Luan’s pranks. “Thankfully, the other black in the house, Angélica, didn’t participate in it.”
The teacher saw herself accused of racism by Amanda. She explained that she referred to Angélica as a good example to compare with Luan, precisely because he said at the beginning of the program, that “every black is a thief.”
The aggressive stance of Angélica in the house for many was seen as arrogant, or “ranting” as Bial said, eventually causing racist reactions of many viewers on social networks. On Tuesday, Folha (newspaper) reported that the nursing assistant’s family decided to take legal action against the comments.
“On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, she’s called a monkey, preta (black) and mother insulted,” said Erick Castro, the participant’s brother.
Angélica left BBB15 (Big Brother Brasil 15) with 69% of votes. Unlike what he usually does after an elimination, host Pedro Bial first interviewed her mother, Carmen Ramos.
It was the cue for the host to stop the conversation immediately, “Lá dentro! Lá dentro!” (Inside Inside). And directing himself toward Angélica asked, “Could it be that you lack a bit of diplomacy?” And she: “No. This I am. I wouldn’t be someone else.”
Bial, in short, missed a great opportunity to address racism – a theme, moreover, that has been covered in another program that he leads, Na Moral. Angélica’s case shows the need to talk more – and openly – about it. Too bad there was no room late Tuesday night.
2. Ogun and Oxum are two distinct deities by nature within the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomblé, but it’s very common within the cult of the Orixás to meet people (children of Orixás) with a head of Oxum with Ogun. Ogun is the fire, iron, hardness one is used to saying that Ogun is that which is immalleable (which can not bend), but with Oxum it’s totally different, because Oxum is water, sweet, calm, gentle, malleable, attractive, protector of children.
3. As we have seen over and over, the term macaca or macaco, meaning monkey, is the favored Brazilian manner of insulting Afro-Brazilians.