Remember the story we shared a few weeks ago from Colombia about the blackface soldier television character whom Afro-Colombians were protesting? Earlier today, the Facebook page of Chao Racismo (Goodbye, Racism) posted a press release in Spanish saying that Roberto Lozano, the white actor who plays Soldado Micolta, will no longer portray the character.
According to the Chao Racismo Facebook post, a lawyer for Caracol TV —the network that broadcasts the “Sábados Felices” show that the Micolta character was a part of— told the organization that even though Lozano never had any intention in offending people, the actor did realize that many Afro-Colombians think that the Micolta character was ridiculing this community and went against the dignity of Afro-Colombians. Lozano, according to the Caracol lawyer, also realized that his character was seen as discriminatory against the Afro-Colombian community. Another part of the statement also applauded Lozano for realizing his error.
Chao Racismo’s director said the following to a local Colombian digital outlet: “This is a victory for the Afro-Colombian community, for Chao Racismo and Caracol TV…”
Six months ago, Chao Racismo said it began to formally complain about the Micolta character through legal means.
As of tonight, Lozano’s Twitter handle is still @negromicolta (@blackmicolta), although his Twitter avatar has changed. Here is avatar from tonight:
Lozano’s profile now says: “mi familia, mi sangre, mi colombia mis amigos y mi trabajo” (“my family, my blood, my colombia my friends and my work”)
When we started looking into the protests against Micolta, Lozano’s Twitter profile looked like this:
Lozano’s previous Twitter bio said this: “Un hermoso niño nacio el 16 de enero de 1978 pero un día se pintó de negro y gracias a sus pequeños ojitos y pulida boquita se creó MICOLTA que sigue ??????????” (“A lovely boy born on January 16, 1978, but un day he painted himself black and thanks to his little eyes and smooth mouth, MICOLTA was created, what will happen next ??????????”) His avatar also showed his Micolta character.
In addition, Lozano’s Twitter profile was also tweeting tonight’s comedy show in Cali, where promotional images for the show included the Micolta character:
— PIROBERTA (@PIROBERTAJULIAN) October 30, 2015