*”Sex and the City” was one of the most popular TV shows to air in the U.S. But a direct adaptation of the HBO series has triggered outrage and claims of racism.
The Voice Newspaper reports the show, which airs on Brazil’s TV Channel Globo, has gotten negative feedback for its portrayal of the four black female characters who are the main focus of the series as well as its title ‘Sexo e as Negas’ (translation: “Sex and the N*ggaz”).
Like the “Sex and the City,” the Brazilian version revolves around the stories of four women who strive for love and success in their personal and professional lives. Well-known Brazilian actor, writer and director Miguel Fallabella wrote the adaptation, which stars Karin Hils, Corina Sabbas, Lillian Valeska and Maria Bia.
Unlike its US counterpart, “Sexo e as Negas” focuses on black women instead of white New Yorkers. Despite its shift, Blogueiras Negras, a Brazilian blog written by black women, has criticized the show by labeling it as sexist and racist with characters who “do not represent” black women
Responding to the backlash over his show’s depiction of blacks, Fallabella reportedly weighed in on the situation via Facebook, saying the negative reaction to “Sexo e as Negas” was down to viewers lacking intelligence.
“Oh! n*ggaz… give me a break,” he reportedly wrote.
Bloggers for Blogueiras Negras further expressed their outrage in an open letter to the “Sexo e as Negas”’ writer as they went in on how the show strikes a serious blow against black women
“Your work, with a view to making financial profit, does little to create the dignified visibility of black women,” the bloggers wrote. “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.”
“Your work amounts to “negrismo” – racist parody, the letter added.
“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.”
In addition to Blogueiras Negras, critics of the show’s narrative and characterization have started online petitions via social media to initiate a boycott of the show and TV network it airs on.
To see a promo for “Sexo e as Negas,” check out the video below: