While many in the United States are focused on the protests surrounding Vh1‘s latest reality show Sorority Sisters, protests are happening elsewhere over similar issues – derogatory representations of black women.
On and offline protests are taking place in Brazil over the television show ‘Sexo e as Negas,’ which translates to Sex and the Niggas. The show is supposed to be an adaptation of the U.S. hit television series Sex and the City (HBO) but is being criticized by black women in Brazil for the title and the hyper sexualized representation of black women in the series. The series creator Miguel Fallabella, who is white, apparently has blown off the blow back from black female audiences.
King Leonidas of StreettalkHGD.com writes:
“In response to claims that his series was racist, writer Miguel Fallabella reportedly wrote on Facebook: ‘Oh! n**gaz… give me a break’. He is also reported to have said the negative reaction to the TV programme was down to viewers lacking intelligence.
In an open letter to the show’s writer, the bloggers of Blogueiras Negras who are petitioning against the show said: ‘Your work, with a view to making financial profit, does little to create the dignified visibility of black women.’
‘It does the opposite. As is common in literature and dramaturgy made by white people about black people, we are treated as exotic study cases; people to be manipulated and observed.
It added: ‘Your work amounts to ‘negrismo’ – racist parody.
‘For us, this is about a counter-hegemonic visibility, with the power to transform the ways we are represented in the next soap opera, and the next mini-series. Without this transformation, nothing will change. The black woman will be nothing more than a stereotype to entertain.””
Sexo e as Negas is broadcast on TV channel Globo, one of Brazil’s largest media networks.
Black women bloggers are also upset about the show invoking a common saying in Brazilian culture – white women are for marriage, mulattoes are for fucking and black women are for work. They believe that the women characters on Sex and the City were seeking love while the women characters on Sexo e as Negas are seeking sex. The Brazilian version of the show also features a white woman narrator who tells the stories of the four, black women characters unlike the character of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) who narrated the stories of the characters on the HBO hit.
France 24 is reporting that the bloggers at Blogueiras Negras have also launched a campaign under the hashtag #AsNegasReal to show images of real black Brazilian women, free from stereotypes. Another hashtag that is circulating is #sexoeasnegasnaomerepresenta or “Sexo e as Negas doesn’t represent me.”
The Facebook page opposing the show has 31,000 likes. The negative representations of black and brown women in entertainment is a problem that crosses genres, cultures and globes.
This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire with additional reporting from Nicky Francis, based in Brazil. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.