Afro-Brazilian Actress, Taís Araújo, was hit with a barrage of racist comments on her Facebook page after posting this photo:
Some of the comments she received included: “who posted the picture of this gorilla on Facebook?” “lend me your hair I wash dishes,” and “I did not know that zoo has camera.” Araújo has reported the vile comments to the Brazilian authorities, however, she has opted against deleting the messages stating instead:
I won’t delete any of those comments. I want you all to feel the shame I felt: the shame to still have people so cowardly and small in this country…I won’t be intimidated or keep my head down. I’ll continue to do what I do best: work. If my image or the image of my family bothers you, it’s your problem!
Taís Araújo is arguably the most famous black actress in Brazil. Araújo and her equally notable actor husband, Lázaro Ramos, are the most visible black couple in the country. Even though 50% of Brazil’s population is of African descent, black people are rarely seen in the media. Araújo and her husband are breaking barriers every time they appear on their national TV show, “Mr. Brown,” a series is inspired by Beyoncé and Jay Z.
Araújo’s fame has led to an outpouring of support and media coverage of the incident, however, her experience isn’t the first of its kind in Brazil. In July, Maria Julia Coutinho, Brazil’s first black Weather Presenter was also subjected to racist comments.
Araújo’s experiences as a black actress in Brazil are akin to some of the same struggles black actresses face here in the states. It appears as though “blackness” is under attack even in countries where having black skin doesn’t necessarily place you in the minority.