‘In the Emperor’s Times’: Author apologizes for reverse racism scene

Thereza Falcão, author of the soap opera Nos Tempos do Imperador, the first unpublished plot that Globo has presented since the beginning of the pandemic, apologized for the “gross error” in a scene shown in the Saturday (21) chapter of Globo’s soap opera. A dialogue between the characters Pilar (Gabriela Medvedovski) and Samuel (Michel Gomes) suggested that the girl in the plot suffered reverse prejudice for being white.

In his official Instagram profile, influencer and activist AD Junior called the scene a “deservice”. “To apply the concept of reverse racism in speech is very dangerous, and this scene will live in the minds of thousands of people. A total disservice,” he wrote. Other people and activists also criticized the soap opera.

In a comment in the publication, the author Thereza Falcão agreed that the dialogue “was awful”. “We are very sorry. When I saw the scene here at home, I said: what was that?”

She added that the initial chapters of the plot were written in 2018 and mostly recorded in 2019. “At the time we didn’t have a specialized consultancy, which only happened last year, with the entry of [pesquisador de cultura afro-brasileira] Nei Lopes. Today I watch many scenes with a very distant feeling.”

“Once again, we apologize for making a gross mistake like that”, she added, who is the author of the soap opera alongside Alessandro Marson. Globo did not comment until the conclusion of this text.

In the scene, Pilar talks to her boyfriend about the fact that she was rejected in Little Africa, a stronghold of black people who seek protection. “Just because you’re white can’t you live in Little Africa? How do we want to have the same rights if we do to whites the same things they do to us,” asked Samuel.

“It’s scenes like this that come true to people uninformed about the period of slavery,” wrote AD Junior. He pointed out that in the period portrayed in “In the Times of the Emperor” (the story begins in 1856) black men and women were not considered human beings and lived under a regime of exception. “Neither could they actually segregate people.”

“A black man sitting on a bench in a square with a white woman would be an ET who is visiting his girlfriend on Mars. First, because black people couldn’t ‘hang around’ ie walk aimlessly and sit on the bench in the square!” , completed AD Junior.

The activist added that explicit interracial relations at the time were rare. “The concept or ‘almost’ permission for this type of relationship will only happen in the first half of the 20th century.”

“The speech of a black man in the period of slavery in this way would be so bizarre that it scares anyone who watches such a scene,” criticized AD Junior.