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News > Latin America

Brazil: FOX Sports Blackface Imitation Sparks Outcry

  • Rudy Landucci appears in blackface on FOX Sports Brasil.

    Rudy Landucci appears in blackface on FOX Sports Brasil. | Photo: Twitter / @rudylanducci

Published 24 May 2018

The program's presentator, Benjamin Back, responded to the criticism, by saying, “Racism? What are you drinking?”

FOX Sports Brasil television has received a flurry of criticism for enacting a blackface parody of Palmeiras coach Roger Machado. Comedian Rudy Landucci appeared with his face painted black hue on the Sacred Game program earlier this week.

Peru: FOX Sports, Comedian Condemned for 'Blackface' Skit

Social media lit up with condemnation of the network station, as well as the comedian, following the blackface stunt. Many also condemned the act as being even more serious because a Black footballer was on the show during the blackface enactment, according to Pragmatismo Politico.

The program's presentator, Benjamin Back, didn't seem to welcome the barrage of criticisms, responding to one web user by saying, “Racism? What are you drinking?”

Blackface was popularized in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. White actors and actresses would paint their faces with charcoal to imitate and reinforce racialized stereotypes of people of African-descent. Blackface has been practiced in other countries subjected to European colonization, including, but not limited to, Australia, Brazil, Peru and other countries in Latin America.

Over the past few years, blackface performances have appeared on different Brazilian programs.

Earlier this month Peruvians criticized a blackface skit directed at Jefferson Farfan, an Afro-Peruvian football star, which aired on the local FOX Sports channel. Members of the public say the images perpetuate racism and have called for legal action to be taken against those responsible.

The culture ministry released a statement saying: "Any act of discrimination based on racial motives is prohibited by Peru's constitution and is sanctioned by various laws, including through the deprivation of liberty." The ministry promised to address the issue, to guarantee that it's not repeated.

Despite repeated objections by the ministry, racist parodies of people of African descents are still common in the South American country.

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