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Brazilian TV Series Featuring Black Boy In Love w/ White Girl Who Hates Him, Causing A Stir

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 12, 2012 2:39 PM
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The short story goes... a Brazilian TV network remake of a Mexican soap opera is causing a bit of a stir amongst blacks in Brazils.

The original show was called Carrossel - a drama about the day-to-day at an elementary school, which featured a storyline that centered on a poor black boy and his love for a rich white girl.

The problem? The story is the same in the Brazilian remake, with Cirilo, the poor black boy in the remake, constantly chasing after this rich white girl, who doesn't like him at all, and continuously rejects his advances because of his both black and poor. But despite the white girl's constant rejection, at times humiliating, he continues to pursue her, seemingly not learning any lessons from his past exchanges with her, and thus the audience not really learning anything either.

That's the argument that journalist and activist for the Brazilian Afroatitudes blog, Daniela Gomes is making, and she penned a piece addressing this, calling what's happening on the TV show, "Cirilo’s Syndrome."

Gomes (who is black) is concerned about, as the Afro-Europe blog puts it, the negative impact she feels that the humiliation of a little black boy in a Prime Time TV show, without any kind of reaction from him how on to combat racism, will have on the ongoing fight against racism in Brazil.

I embedded a clip from the show below; to read Gomes' full article, and more of the story, head on over to the Afro-Europe blog HERE.

Here's a clip from the Brazilian series; and underneath you'll find a clip from the original Mexican show.

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  • Daniela Gomes | July 10, 2012 10:29 PMReply

    Hi Tambay,
    My name is Daniela and I'm the writer of I would like to say thank you very much for share this information with your writers. It is always import to find people to fight together on this struggle.

  • Ta | July 9, 2012 9:46 PMReply

    Yeah c'mon. Latins/Hispanics are known for the racist arrogant garbage the put out. Most of what I see are the latin countries trying to claim both racist oppression and superiority! It's sick. So yeah it's a mexican remark...hopefully they won't try to redo Trayvon. I'm sick of this crap. You're a bunch of racist film makers period.

  • joao | June 16, 2012 6:53 PMReply

    honestly, this is not a surprise, it's a metaphor to show how much blacks would sacrifice for people that do not like them. Maybe if blacks would treasure themselves and one another; whites and people of other races would respect blacks. Blacks need to start combating their sub-conscious inferiority complex, and respect themselves and one another. I know i loved being black as a child and i still do now, i would have never gone after a white girl like that point blank lol.

  • CareyCarey | June 13, 2012 9:36 AMReply

    Pepe Le Pew! I knew I saw this concept before. Pepe Le Pew is a fictional character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons, first introduced in 1945. A French skunk that always strolls around in Paris in the springtime, when everyone's thoughts are of "love", Pepe is constantly seeking "l'amour" of his own. However, he has two huge turnoffs to any prospective mates: his malodorous scent (he stanks), and he cannot take " no" for an answer, blissfully convinced that the girl is flirting with him, even when she physically assaults him. Now come on y'all, didn't that little girl look at little Gary Coleman as if he was a skunk? But Traci. R "below" brought an interesting perspective --> "in the teen sitcom of the 90s (Saved By The Bell) Screech Powers is a WHITE teen who persists and fails to win the heart of BLACK female Lisa Turtle. The relationship is played for purely fo comedic effect". Ut oh, where was the disgust quotient when the white dude was being rejected by the black girl? Huh-huh-huh? Who cries for the little boy now? Well, I believe there's another act of symbolism at play. The little white looking girl represents Hollywood. And of course the little beggin' brotha is reminicent of black filmmakers and their legion of followers. That's right, it's all so clear. Little black Sambo (some black folks) begging the shit out of Hollywood (some white folks) for their love and attention. I think I'll do a little research to see if little Cirilo goes for broke, leading up to him straightening his hair (or buying a weave) and then marrying any old fat white chick -- as long as she's white it's all-right. Yeah, and then as the story progresses, he'll get a job at CNN and confesses to the world that he's GAY. OH HAPPY DAY... ER'BODY HAPPY! End of Story....

  • CareyCarey | June 13, 2012 11:28 AM

    Cherish, I'm not going to debate the Saved By The Bell reference, that's Traci's. But I am glad you focused on Pepe Le Pew. First, I loved ol'Pepe because although he pushed up on his l'amour waaaaay too strong, he had that cool french accent and the confidence of a do or die playah. However, looking back at the dynamics of Pepe's problems, he was basically chasing a forbidded fruit. If I am not mistaken, he was frequently chasing cats (pet house cats), not his species of scunk. So I am wondering if the intended message WAS right in our face? That message being... good or bad, happy or sad, rich or poor -- your eyes my shine and your teeth my grin, but please black folks, swapping spit with you would be considered a sin. Now of course some would call that an act of racism, but again, many people would simply call it "right". Btw, I don't know about this-->"It's practically a look of lust or want. Its an aggressive, almost angry look... cartoons today would never show this behavior"

  • Cherish | June 13, 2012 10:58 AM

    Carey, it's really interesting that you mention Pepe Le Pew. Pepe was a very aggressive character who practically "attacked" his love interests. The way he chased his l'amour, held her and kissed her against her wishes was borderline sexual assault, cartoons today would never show this behavior. In the Carrossel - Cirrilo frame above, the look the little boy is giving the girl is not a look of love or longing. It's practically a look of lust or want. Its an aggressive, almost angry look. OK, I may be reading a little too much into it, but it's not the way a little boy should be looking at a girl. Then I wonder what are they saying about little Black boys. Will those watching this show come away with these prejudiced notions of little Black boys? I don't know. But that Pepe Le Pew point is really insightful.

  • Cherish | June 13, 2012 10:44 AM

    SAVED BY THE BELL had the White "hunk" Zach, who was popular and got the most popular girl in school. So it didn't matter that there was one white boy longing for the Black girl, because it was still a predominantly White show where all the white guys more or less got the girls they wanted. Also, you can't compare Screech to Cirillo. Screech was socially awkward, while Cirillo's "sins" are just that he is Black and poor. Actually I found it a bit insulting that Lisa, who so pretty and attractive, was being chased by goofy awkward guy, while the other girls on the show had hotter love interests.

  • Clayton | June 13, 2012 1:02 AMReply

    I think the tagline says something like "the story that will unite the Brazilian family." Really?

  • Alicia | June 13, 2012 12:48 AMReply

    Actually the series originated in Argentina under the name "Jacinta Pichimahuida" (the name of the teacher) and was created by Abel Santacruz in 1946 and had three different versions, the last one aired until 1986:
    The plot is the same with the character of Cirilo, a black boy in love with a rich white girl already there. The same racist idea has persisted and multiplied for 66 years!

  • Alicia | June 13, 2012 6:59 PM

    He never gets the girl...

  • Cherish | June 13, 2012 10:34 AM

    In the other series, does he get the girl in the end? Does he even get to kiss her or have a brief fling?

  • Traci R. | June 12, 2012 11:53 PMReply only frame of reference to make any attempt to try to understand the narratives stakes of this unrequited relationship heightened by its racial dynamic is the Screech-Lisa r-ship on Saved By The Bell. The dynamic of course is the opposite of Carousel instead of a black boy pursuing a white girl who constantly rejects him in the teen sitcom of the 90s Screech Powers is a white teen who persists and fails to win the heart of black female Lisa Turtle. The relationship is played for purely fo comedic effect, with Screech often bumbling, dorkily in his attempts to prove his love to Lisa. I would have to see the show to know for sure but if it plays out similarly in Carousel I don't know how its narrative impact--comedy--would be seen as being any different? Just my 2.5 cents.

    And if you remember Screech didn't ever get anywhere with Lisa except the small token of a kiss on their graduation day.

  • BluTopaz | June 12, 2012 11:45 PMReply

    What kind of Black person would allow their child to appear in this garbage, being treated like a trained monkey? And what exactly are kids supposed to get out of it? It would be bad enough if these Bad Seed looking little white girls are written to show lack of tolerance and how we can learn from their ugliness, but that's not the case. It's pure evil to teach superiority and self hatred to small children.

  • Kid chaos | June 12, 2012 10:20 PMReply

    Interracial couples are not cool only black folks who hate them self think they are.

  • Clayton | June 13, 2012 1:03 AM

    LOL @ AccidentalVisitor

  • AccidentalVisitor | June 12, 2012 11:52 PM

    Don't you have a Nation of Islam meeting to go to or something?

  • Nadine | June 12, 2012 9:25 PMReply

    ... I think, though, she is supposed to be the villain...not sure... can anyone confirm?

  • AccidentalVisitor | June 12, 2012 9:09 PMReply

    My goodness, that's unbelievable. A black character on a Mexican soap opera?

  • Moionfire | June 14, 2012 11:09 PM

    I think he meant it as a joke since Mexican TV mostly only has whites - not even mestizos or indians-- let alone blacks.

  • plumpdn | June 13, 2012 10:53 PM

    umm. there are black people in Mexico just like in the rest of the Americas. I usedto watch the Mexican Carrusel when I was a kid. All those girls were little b@tches.

  • Nadine | June 12, 2012 8:56 PMReply

    The boy is beautiful, the girl is not. The colonized world is crazy...

  • Nadine | June 12, 2012 11:02 PM

    Ali... he's gorgeous.

  • Ali | June 12, 2012 9:12 PM

    I know! BEAUTIFUL little boy and yet they want to depict her as something undeniably desirable? Pathetic.

  • JMac | June 12, 2012 8:47 PMReply

    *vomits* Agree with Gomes about the impact this show would have on younger minds. You know little kids will watch this (during The Cosby Show time slot - eww) and imitate it not knowing what they are perpetuating and not having the skills to deal with it appropriately. I can only imagine that adults and teachers probably find the behavior cute or not a big deal. On the upside, I have another afro-brazilian blogger to follow. Amazing the type of shows LA can put on that would be dead from the get-go in the US. They better not try to do an American version.

  • Paul | June 12, 2012 8:15 PMReply

    I'm a Blackman, and I think this show is great. I could stop laughing at how not only stupid the Black boy is, but how closely he's character resembles many Blackmen in the western world who make chasing White Girls their day to day obsession. The Blacks especially Men should take a hint and begin to realize that the Whiteman is fed up of them constantly chasing their women.
    The moral of this great story is; Have some pride Black Boy / Man and start loving your own kind like every other race. I wish the would air an English version of this great show here in the UK where Blackmen & Boys are constantly belittling themselves in their daily per suite of White women.

  • YES! | June 16, 2012 7:58 PM

    OUCH! That truth sho do hurt. Many black folks spend waaaaay to much time trying to love someone who does not love them back. "And at the end of the day certain blacks wanna cry racism when they belittle themselves and treat others like them cruelly". I know... I know... we are not a monolithic group... and thank God for that.

  • joao | June 16, 2012 7:04 PM

    Agreed, every other group of people love their own kind, but people of African heritage always have to aspire to be white, whether consciously or sub consciously, a good portion(not all) of blacks are mental slaves; consumers and laborers to those that do not care about them. And at the end of the day certain blacks wanna cry racism when they belittle themselves and treat others like them cruelly.

  • No | June 12, 2012 3:29 PMReply

    Interesting. I've noticed over the years of never seeing any blacks in a Latin American soap operas, and when you finally do see one, he has a problem: he's too dense to know who his friends are.

  • Vanessa | June 12, 2012 3:19 PMReply

    ugh. I remember the original show! I can hear the song. It sounds more like a nightmare today ..flashback :-/.

    stupid stupid shows product of Latin American colonialism. smh.

  • Muse | June 12, 2012 3:13 PMReply

    I won't.

  • ms.jjstone | June 12, 2012 3:11 PMReply

    I can't!

  • Clayton Broomes | June 12, 2012 2:50 PMReply

    Filho da puta! Quero ver isso.

  • Clayton | June 12, 2012 3:26 PM

    I meant, "it."

  • Clayton Broomes | June 12, 2012 3:20 PM

    Mother *bleep*! I want to see this.

  • BluTopaz | June 12, 2012 2:58 PM


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