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Table 4.1: Gloria Perez’s Work

TV Station
Partido Alto 1984 Rede Globo
O Clone 2002 Rede Globo
Pecado Capital 1998 Rede Globo
Carmen 1987-88 Machete
Mulher 1999 Rede Globo
Explode Coração 1995 Rede Globo
De corpo e Alma 1992-93 Rede Globo
Barriga de Aluguel 1990 Rede Globo
Eu Prometo 1983 Rede Globo
Mini - series
TV Station
Desejo 1990 Manchete
Hilda Furacão 1997 Rede Globo

Perez concocted a true “folhetim”, utilizing the old melodramatic formula of impossible love, paternity identification (this time with a modern twist), and many tears in between. Contrary to the Brazilian tradition of reality-based novelas, Perez allows her imagination to run free with “O Clone”. Even though there is an attempt to show Morroco and its culture, what the novela portrays cannot be correlated specifically to Morroco or any other country, for that matter. The author combines different traditions and customs from diverse countries, touching on controversial themes such as polygamy, adultery, and women’s rights. This mixture of traditions from different parts of the world spark harsh criticism, not only from the press, but also from the community the telenovela is trying to portray (Veja, 2002; Padiglione, 2002; Hamburger, 2002). From the perspective of the audience in the United States, the telenovela not only discusses Islamic culture, but also Brazilian culture, with numerous scenes comparing and contrasting these two different cultures.

In a bulletin board posted on the embassy website, the Moroccan ambassador to Brazil, sheik Abdelmalek Cherkaoui Ghazouani states that the telenovela “O Clone” conveys erroneous images of the origins and culture of the Arab-Muslim community. He states that since the beginning of the novela, Brazilians got excited about Morocco and everything related to the Arab-Muslim world, to the point of a so called “Clonomania”. However, at the same time, the novela turned out to be a gross farce, portraying mediocre images, and a sham of the Arab-Muslim culture and reality. The ambassador cites and clarifies four main stereotypes portrayed by “O Clone” in his opinion:

  • Polygamy – Conveyed as a normal practice, accepted by all, mainly by the women, but in reality, it is almost extinct and without any strength inside Moroccan society.
  • The women do not work outside of the home, and according to the novela, their universe is limited to the husband and belly dancing. This is divergent to the reality of the Arab world and Morocco in particular, where 43% of university students are females. Women have been in male dominated professions such as military and commercial airplane pilots, Ministers, Ambassadors, Judges and Legislative areas.
  • Belly dancing has never been part of the Moroccan cultural heritage. The dance is presented only in touristy places and nightclubs, the same as in Brazil.
  • Contrary to the telenovela portrayal, women have a major role in the Moroccan family, they are responsible for the children’s education and the welfare of the family, they are the only ones to have this job, and not a so-called “Tio Ali” (my translation) (Ghazouani, 2002).

It is important to notice the testimonies of the people that actually understand about the culture and can express an informed opinion about the portrayal of Morocco and Muslim culture. While this study is not intended to delve into the merit of the portrayal of the culture, there is certainly a concern about what is conveyed in the telenovela in contrast to reality. As the ambassador did, many participants of the forum can also express their opinion in this regard, therefore, the focus of the study is in analyzing the opinions in contrast to what is expressed in the telenovela.



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Acknowledgements / Dedication - Abstract





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