A Kiss Is (Not) Just a Kiss: Heterodeterminism, Homosexuality and TV Globo Telenovelas

Samantha Nogueira Joyce


This article addresses the inherent bias in Brazilian telenovelas’ representations of homosexual love. Medium- and genre-specific biases such as the visuality of telenovelas are powerful limiting agents of representation. However, technological determinism must be expanded to read culture itself as deterministic to properly account for particular biases in the medium’s use in different national contexts. The key issue is a struggle for a “monopoly of knowledge” over discourses that deem homosexuality as “acceptable,” and one that views it as “unacceptable” and strange. This article examines three recent gay and lesbian progressive storylines in TV Globo telenovelas that fell short in one important aspect: the characters were not allowed to kiss.

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