Under the myth of racial democracy, Brazilian mainstream television has embraced a push toward more diverse representation, increasing in recent years the visibility of black individuals throughout its programming. Such diversity, however, operates within an ideology that masks the country's pervasive structural racial inequality. In this article, I analyze the racial and ideological significance of one of Brazil's most popular television celebrities, Taís Araújo. The actress's trajectory reveals a systemic practice adopted by the television industry of whitening raced subjects and pushing forth a colorblind racial ideology that inhibits the recognition of black culture and the formation of collective resistance on the basis of race. My analysis covers some key moments in the actress's television career, including the several times she has been slated as "the first black protagonist" on different television shows. I argue that, while in the face of a whitening television, the racial construction of Araújo's star image has ultimately turned her into a popular symbol of black female resistance.


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pp. 42-66
Launched on MUSE
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