iOS app Android app More

Natural Hair Song By Tiririca Deemed Racist, Sony Music Ordered To Pay $1.2 Million

Racist Song

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/06/12 11:10 AM ET Updated: 01/06/12 01:03 PM ET

We couldn't stop laughing when Franchesca Ramsey joked about white girls comparing the feel of black girls' hair to a Brillo pad in her "Sh-t White Girls Say...To Black Girls" video.

But a version of the same unflattering sentiment is costing Sony Music $1.2 million...not laughs.

Sony Music has been ordered to pay $1.2 million (equivalent to about $656,000 in American dollars) in retroactive compensation back to 1997 for the release of the song "Veja os Cabelos Dela (Look at Her Hair)" by the Brazilian singer, comedian and politician Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva whose stage name is Tiririca.

The lyrics not only liken a black woman's hair to "a scouring pad for pots and pans," but also calls her a "stinking beast." Oy!

The lawsuit was brought forth by 10 non-governmental organizations that fight against racism. Humberto Adami, the defense attorney of the NGOs, argued that black women were offended, exposed to ridicule and felt violated due to the lyrical content of the song.

"This decision is a direct message to show how the issue of racial inequality should be treated. It is a moment to celebrate. The compensation won't even go to the authors of the lawsuit. The money will go to the Diffused Rights Fund of the Ministry of Justice,"commented Adami.

Adami claims that the damages paid in the suit are the highest ever paid for compensation of a racist act in Brazil.

A representative for Sony maintained that the song was not intended to offend women and that Tiririca was in fact alluding to his wife in the song and that the terminology used in the song are used by Brazilians in reference to not only black women but white women as well.

Shame on Tiririca writing such a horrible song about his wife. Secondly, the song specifically referencing a "black woman," so I don't know how Sony can make the connection to white women. But you be the judge...

The song lyrics in Portuguese and English:

Veja veja veja veja veja os cabelos dela (4x)
(Look look look look look at her hair (4x)

Parece bom-bril*, de ariá panela
(It looks like a scouring pad for pots and pans)

Parece bom-bril, de ariá panela
(It looks like a scouring pad for pots and pans)

Quando ela passa, me chama atenção
(When she goes by, she catches my attention)

Mas os seus cabelos, não tem jeito não
(But her hair just isn't right)

A sua catinga quase me desmaiou
(Her stench almost made me faint)

Olha eu não aguento, é grande o seu fedor
(Look, I can't take it, her smell is so bad)

Veja veja veja veja veja os cabelos dela
(Look look look look look at her hair)

Parece bom-bril, de ariá panela (2x)
(It looks like a scouring pad for pots and pans) (2x)

Eu já mandei, ela se lavar
(I told her to take a bath)

Mas ela teimo, e não quis me escutar
(But she's stubborn and doesn't listen to me)

Essa nega fede, fede de lascar
(This black woman stinks, she stinks horribly)

Bicha fedorenta, fede mais que gambá
(Stinking beast, smells worse than a skunk)

Quick Poll

Do You Think The Song Is Racist?

VOTE

But we love a natural 'do, don't you?

Loading Slideshow...
  • Esperanza Spalding: The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards

    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Singer Esperanza Spalding accepts the Best New Artist Award onstage during The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Jill Scott: VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Singer Jill Scott attends VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul at Hammerstein Ballroom on December 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Vh1)

  • Corinne Bailey Rae: Alice & Olivia Fashion Show

    NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Corinne Bailey Rae at the Alice Olivia Spring 2012 presentation during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Highline Stages on September 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvette Nicole Brown: The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Next Gen Reception

    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Actress Yvette Nicole Brown arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Next Generation Reception held at Milk Studios on November 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Tracee Ellis Ross: Fashion Forward Benefiting The Gay Men's Health Crisis

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Tracee Ellis Ross attends Fashion Forward benefiting the gay men's health crisis at the Metropolitan Pavilion on November 17, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

  • Tracie Thoms: "Stick Fly" On Broadway Cast Photo Shoot

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Tracie Thoms attends 'Stick Fly' on Broadway's cast and creative photocall at the Hard Rock Cafe - Times Square on October 20, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

  • Wanda Sykes: The Friars Club Honors Larry King

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Comedian Wanda Sykes attends as Larry King is honored at the 2011 Friars Club Testimonial dinner gala at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on November 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

  • Ledisi: VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Ledisi attends VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul at Hammerstein Ballroom on December 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Vh1)

  • Solange Knowles: Burberry Body Event

    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26: DJ Solange Knowles arrives at the Burberry Body Event hosted by Christopher Bailey and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley held at Burberry Beverly Hills on October 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Burberry)

  • Lisa Bonet: 2006 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour

    PASADENA, CA - JULY 13: Actress Lisa Bonet speaks during the 2006 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour for the Nick at Nite Network at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on July 13, 2006 in Pasadena, California. (Photo Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images).

  • Janelle Monae: South Korea Dinner

    Singer Janelle Mon�e arrives for the state dinner in honour of South Korea's President Lee Myung-Bak and his wife Kim Yoon-Ok October 13, 2011 at the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Erykah Badu: GREY GOOSE Lounge Series At Super Bowl

    DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 04: Recording artist Erykah Badu attends the GREY GOOSE lounge series at Super Bowl hosted by Erykah Badu at the GREY GOOSE Lounge on February 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for GREY GOOSE)

  • Shingai Shoniwa: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Premiere

    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 16: Shingai Shoniwa attends the UK premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 at Westfield Stratford City on November 16, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • Kim Wayans: "Pariah" New York Premiere

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 01: Actress Kim Wayans attends the 'Pariah' premiere at the Tribeca Grand Hotel on December 1, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

  • Tanika Ray: 80th Annual Academy Awards

    HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 24: TV personality Tanika Ray arrives at the 80th Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on February 24, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

  • Goapele: 19th Annual ASCAP Rhythm And Soul Music Awards

    BEVERLY HILLS - JUNE 26: Recording artist Goapele attends the 19th Annual ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 26, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images).

FOLLOW HUFFPOST STYLE