Earlier this summer, we blogged about our Peruvian partner LUNDÚ, who have been working on a campaign to protest racist portrayals on a Peruvian television network. Their activism has included a public demonstration and a petition with over 5000 signatures, demanding that the characters “Negro Mama” and “Paisana Jacinta” be removed and the network publicly apologize for the racist, sexist, and discriminatory stereotypes they portray. Last we reported in June, LUNDÚ and other advocates were awaiting a response from the National Society of Radio and TV (SNRTV).
This week, we learned that the request was dismissed, and the characters will stay on television.
This is especially problematic because at a panel organized by LUNDÚ on August 26, 2009, members of SNRTV, a group of media companies, made a pact to self-regulate programmatic content. “It was a commitment from them not to use words or content that ridicule, denigrate or otherwise offend the human dignity (of their audiences),” said Miriam Larco, Executive Secretary of the Advisory Council of Radio and Television of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Peru. A representative of the National Association of Peruvian Advertisers defended the companies by stating that the companies had committed to regulating programmatic content during hours when children may be watching. 74% of media users believe that discrimination exists in the content they are exposed to, according to a recent study, “Inappropriate and Annoying Radio and Television Content for Users.”
LUNDU President Monica Carrillo argued, “It is important to establish criteria for self-regulation during all hours of the day, taking into consideration racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination”. Carrillo also presented information from the annual report of the Afro-Peruvian Center that found that there were 350 racist and sexist news pieces in 6 newspapers and magazines between July 2009 and July 2010. “This reiterates the view of the Afro-Peruvian population as animalistic and a stereotype of African women as predisposed to sex and fun”.