Comedian Jacaré Banguela makes racist joke about actor Will Smith’s son Jaden and generates backlash on social networks
From the series “I’m not surprised”, once again we have an example of attempted humor at the expense of black people. This time, it was comedian Rodrigo Fernandes, known by the stage name of Jacaré Banguela, posting a photo model/actor Jaden Smith with his father, actor Will Smith, in a photo enjoying a recent World Cup in Russia. Known for his YouTube videos, under a photo of the father/son acting duo, Banguela wrote: “I am almost certain that the son of Will Smith asked me for money yesterday on the corner of Rua Haddock Wolf [famous street of São Paulo] saying that he was looking at my car.”
For those who don’t know, it is very common throughout Brazil for flanelinhas, street peddlers who help direct drivers into parking spaces on the street or volunteer to watch their cars when they get out in exchange for some small change. When the negative repercussions began pour in, Banguela erased the post yet didn’t apologize.
In the photo the Hollywood actor was with his son watching a game of the World Cup of Russia. After the rebound, Rodrigo Fernandes, known as Jacaré Banguela, erased the publication, but did not apologize.
Instead, making light of the situation, he posted the following message: “Well, what did is done and deleted. Now the judgment is with you. I disagree with some opinions, but the space is open and the debate will always be free. Good morning :).”
This comment by Banguela associating a black male with a stereotype comes just weeks after another popular YouTuber, Júlio Cocielo, lost his sponsorships after making a similar comment about French national futebol team player Mbappé on Twitter. Cocielo tweeted: “Mbappé could do some top arrastão on the beach, huh,” referring to the incidents of waves of young people running and stealing personal items of visitors of Rio’s beaches.
Cocielo ended up deleting numerous other Tweets that people called him out for after his sponsors started dropping him like he was hot.
Of course, like anyone who was caught saying/making such a comment, Banguela tried to downplay the comment but, like Cocielo, web users soon found other racist tweets posted by Banguela.
“A fat person can be a whale, Portuguese and blondes can be stupid. An Argentine can be a filho da puta (son of a bitch) … and the black must be a monkey,” Rodrigo Fernandes wrote on Twitter in March 2012. Also, in 2012, he made use of Brazil’s favorite insult of black people once again. “I’ve never seen a monkey suing another for calling him black. Does this only happen to animals that … you think?”
With the support of Brazilian fans, Jaden Smith recently got wind of the attempt at humor at his expense and posted a response to Banguela. “How mirrors can be real if our eyes are not real.” Jaden has already been spotted on a beach in Rio and had actually tweeted a message to Brazilians on Thursday, expressing his love for the country, writing “I love you, Brazil”.
In the aftermath of the incident, Banguela lost his recurring appearance role on the SBT-TV variety program Eliana, leaving many of his fans disappointed.
For those who support humor at he expense of black people, I wouldn’t worry about it. If we take an example from a few years back in another incident, Banguela’s suspension from the TV program is most likely a temporary setback. After all, in February 2017, news journalist Marcos Paulo Ribeiro called singer Ludmilla a “monkey” on live television. He was fired after the comment but was soon hired by another network. Must be nice. My question would be, how long will it take for journalist Alline Prado to brought back to host a major TV network program after she was fired for not being “neutral” enough? Only time will tell; after all, there is one clear difference between Prado and Ribeiro that could play a major factor in their destinations. Can you figure it out?