After the controversy over blackface on Tale and Which Show, Rai replies with a letter and announces a new course
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Rai takes a step forward and responds to public complaints by promising to commit to a television that is more attentive to the sensitivity of viewers on the issue of racism.
With a note in response to associations that had criticized her for blackface (the practice of painting one's face to imitate people of color), state television aims to smooth out the squabbles.
With regard to the matter for which you wrote to us, let us immediately say that we undertake – as far as is in our power – to prevent it from being repeated on Rai screens. On the contrary, we will be the spokesperson for your requests at the top management and at the management that play a key coordinating role so that your observations on the practice of blackface become widespread awareness
The letter, which had as its subject "Invitation to abandon the practice of Blackface from public service entertainment broadcasts" was sent last January, following the controversy that had been unleashed against Tale and Which Show, the program of Carlo Accounts during which, to imitate Ghali, Sergio Muniz's face had been colored brown.
Ghali himself had spoken out against that decision, expressing his dissent on Instagram.
There is no need to be blackface to imitate me or other artists. You can say that I am exaggerating, that I have to laugh or that you don't want to offend anyone, I understand. But to offend someone you just need to be ignorant, you don't have to be bad or driven by hatred. You can also be nice and good people and not know that the history of blackface goes beyond a simple make-up, make-up or disguise.
We do not make a good impression on those who are less superficial in this country or even with those who look at us from outside. There are many characteristics that can be reproduced and imitated in a character. It's the second time you've emulated me this way, painting my face as well as making comments using clichés and comparisons about physical appearance and beauty. I wasn't offended, really. But I didn't even laugh. Autotune and a nice look were enough. Because blackface is condemned everywhere, especially in a year like this, in which events and protests were within everyone's reach.
The announcement by Viale Mazzini represents a turning point, a knowledge necessary for a television that must first of all comply with its role as a public service, helping society to grow and evolve, to understand the cultural changes that also pass from language and image. The blackface problem had already been raised several times against Tale and Which Show and had been partly underestimated, appealing to the need for competitors to resemble as much as possible – even physically – to the characters chosen for the imitations.
However, ignoring that the world has changed in the meantime and that there is an increasingly multicultural society to be taken into account would mean putting one's head in the sand, with the risk that once it has been raised there is no longer an audience to turn to.
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