Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva, who performs under the stage name Tiririca, is a well-known Brazilian man of many talents. Francisco currently represents São Paulo (a state in Brazil) in a political capacity.
In addition to his political accomplishments, he is an accomplished actor, comedian, singer and composer among many other things.
In 1997, Francisco authored and released a song by means of Sony Music called “Look at Her Hair”.
Last month, the Court of Rio de Janeiro ruled that the lyrics were racist. Some Brazilian authorities go even further, stating that portions of the song were directly offensive to African Americans.
Sony Music, who officially owns the copyright to the song, was ordered to pay R$1.2 million (in Brazilian reais) ($650, 000 American dollars) in punitive charges. The case has been pending since 2004, when the case was appealed due to the significance of the original decision where Sony was ordered to pay punitive damages of R$300 million (in Brazilian reais). As you can see, the dollar amount of the decision was greatly reduced in the latest ruling.
Note: If you’re easy offended, please don’t continue reading past this point. The title and lyrics of the song have been translated to English, since the 95% of our readers are from English speaking countries.
While I find this song incredibly offensive, it is not much different than the way some very popular American musicians speak about black women. Their comments are often overlooked. The other difference is in America these songs are often composed and performed by a black man.
Regardless, it is incredibly disappointing and if it’s not going to be tolerated in Brazil, then why should we tolerate it in America?