- Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, seems to be trying to discredit Carnival, the country’s biggest annual street party.
- On Tuesday he tweeted an explicit video to “show the truth” about Carnival parties.
- It came as hundreds of Carnival attendees protested against Bolsonaro and wore costumes mocking a corruption scandal in his political party.
- People started referring to the video as a “golden shower,” to which Bolsonaro responded: “What is a golden shower?”
- Critics say he is trying to depict the explicit scene as a common occurrence to discredit Carnival protests against him.
Brazil’s president appears to be trying to discredit Carnival, Brazil’s biggest street party, after people staged massive protests to mock him there.
Jair Bolsonaro tweeted a sexually explicit video of Carnival attendees on Tuesday night in an attempt to tarnish its reputation. It shows three people dancing on top of a roof while one man urinates on another man’s head.
During Carnival, Brazil comes to a standstill as locals attend samba schools, spectacular parades, and dress up in costumes to party on the street. This year’s Carnival began on February 28 and ended on March 5.
Bolsonaro said he feels uncomfortable sharing the images but that he has to “expose the truth so the people are aware of their priorities.”
“This is what Brazilian carnival street parties have turned into,” he said.
Passei um carnaval inteiro vendo tantas coisas lindas. Daí me deparo com ISSO no twitter de um presidente da republica q inclusive deve ser seguido por MUITAS crianças???! Cadê a postura de presidente???? Se superou!!!!
— astridfontenelle (@astridfontenell) March 6, 2019
On Twitter, Brazilians criticised Bolsonaro’s tweet. They referred to the video as a “golden shower,” said the video is not representative of Carnival, and threatened to report the post to Twitter.
Bolsonaro tweeted in response to the criticism on Wednesday,saying: “What is a golden shower?”
The Brazilian TV presenter Astrid Fontenelle tweeted: “I saw so many beautiful things this carnival. Then I see this on Twitter from the president of our republic who many children follow?”
People who actually witnessed the scene in Bolsonaro’s video also told the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo that although Carnival festivities are sometimes marked by alcohol-fuelled escapades, what happened in the video was an isolated incident.
Bolsonaro’s critics also accused him of depicting the scene in the video as a common occurrence to delegitimize anti-government protests that have occurred during street parties around the country.
The video below, which came in response to Bolsonaro’s tweet, shows a crowd protesting against the president.
O Brasil te ama pic.twitter.com/uXO1epTZu9
— Lannes Del Rey (@LannesDelRey) March 5, 2019
Many Carnival attendees this year also dressed up to mock ongoing money-laundering accusations against Bolsonaro.
Earlier this year, authorities flagged payments from who was marked as Bolsonaro’s driver to the bank accounts of the president’s wife and son, raising suspicions that the driver is a “ghost worker” – someone doing a fake job to get money from the government.
“Ghost workers” are often referred to as oranges in Brazil, leading many Carnival attendees to dress up as the fruit this year.
Some people also changed traditional samba lyrics to mock Bolsonaro.
Folha de S. Paulo reported that one street party played, “I am not mistaken. Bolsonaro is part of the militia,” referencing accusations that the president is connected to the country’s paramilitary groups.
— Raoni Alves (@RaoniA) March 5, 2019
Bolsonaro has also faced criticism around the country over his offensive comments about women, black people, and the LGBT community.
He previously told a congresswoman that she was too ugly to be raped, and that he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.
But he garnered widespread support for promising to end violence and corruption, allowing him to win the presidential election in a landslide last October.
Despite Bolsonaro’s criticisms of the street parties, many Brazilians praised this Carnival season, highlighting the parades of professional samba schools.
This year’s performances dazzled the audience with messages about black and indigenous history. The winner of the world-famous Rio parades will be announced on Wednesday.
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