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Gender, Violence and the Big Brother Brazil

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Presented at the 2014 AEJMC Conference

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Gender, Violence and the Big Brother Brazil

  1. 1. #Danielexpulso: Gender Violence, New Media and Big Brother Brazil Rachel Reis Mourao
  2. 2. Introduction 2006: Lei Maria da Penha passed to specifically protect women's rights Yet, every 12 seconds a woman is raped in the country (2012) Sexual assault is prevalent in popular culture: soap opera plots, comedy sketches and advertising
  3. 3. Big Brother Brasil 2012 Sexual assault broadcasted live on pay-per-view #DanielExpulso Director decided not to intervene On the next day, edited version was labeled a “romance” Participant was kicked out for “inappropriate behavior”
  4. 4. “I drank and I do not remember everything that happened. I do not remember, because otherwise I would have woken up and enjoyed it, right? As for the police, I would defend [Daniel], I must put a stop to (the investigation). I do not wish he had been sent home [from the show], he must hate me, but I'm not the one who makes the rules of the program” - Monique Amin
  5. 5. Why should we care? • Non-scripted television: not fiction, but not news • Producers, participants, news media and audience “[R]eality shows do a remarkable job of reflecting the social construction of gender within dominant culture. In that regard, no matter how contrived the story lines, the stereotypes of women on reality shows appear highly consistent with those seen in other aspects of popular media” (Brown, 2005, p.75).
  6. 6. “Em briga de marido e mulher, nao se mete a colher” (Between husband and wife, don’t interfere [don’t place a spoon]) Machismo e marianismo
  7. 7. Qualitative textual analysis Two main Brazilian weekly magazines (Veja and Epoca): 99 articles Nightly newscasts (TV Globo and TV Record national broadcasts) Tweets using the hashtag #DanielExpulso for 24 hours after the incident
  8. 8. Nightly newscasts Jornal Nacional (Globo): “What happened was not different than other situations in previous seasons of Big Brother Brazil” Jornal da Record: “explosive combination of alcohol and sex”
  9. 9. Magazines Epoca (Globo): five short articles, none reached out to Monique’s family Veja: cover story, editorial and 8-page story The reaction to a torrid sex scene in BBB shows that, happily, not everything is allowed even when it is announced that privacy is over.
  10. 10. “no different than what Brazilian television has been broadcasting for decades in its soap operas and talk shows” “this was a matter best suited for the private sphere” “announced tragedy after heavy incentive for sex and voyeurism” (Veja Magazine, 2012)
  11. 11. Twitter #DanielExpulso Culture jamming led by Globo actresses Advertising impact  “inappropriate behavior”
  12. 12. Ethical considerations No follow-up with the police investigation: no information available on the outcome Mainstream coverage: private sphere natural outcome Producers and director also opted for non-intervention Limited victim-blaming  not even a crime Twitter: cyberactivism and culture jamming  continued pressure online and with advertisers.
  13. 13. Thank you! rachelmourao@gmail.com @rachelmourao rachelmourao.wordpress.com