Widely Criticized For Pornographic Tweet, Bolsonaro Says He Didn't Mean To Trash Brazilian Carnaval

In a statement, the president said he didn't mean to criticize the popular tradition "as a whole"


Opposition and government allies joined forces on Wednesday (6th) in condemning president Bolsonaro's post on Twitter using pornographic content to criticize one of Brazil's most popular festivity, Carnaval.

Members of the Armed Forces who work in the president's inner circle weren't keen on the post, which received a lot of press attention, and other senior officers noticed that even his loyal online base wasn't supportive as usual.

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro used his official Twitter account to post a controversial video showing a man dancing in the street while making obscene gestures, and another male urinating on him.

The president wrote that he "didn't feel comfortable showing" the video, but argued that the people needed to know the truth about what "street parades in Carnaval had become."

The next day, the president returned to Twitter to ask his audience what was a golden shower, a popular name for the sex practice involving urine.

After the hostile reactions, the administration released a press statement saying on Wednesday evening saying that "there was no intention of criticizing Carnaval as a whole, but to point out the distortion on its spirit of celebration, satire, healthy criticism and creativity of Brazil's largest and most democratic popular tradition."

Members of the opposition like House representative Paulo Teixeira (PT-SP) said they would sue the president based on a new sexual harassment law that criminalizes publicizing video depicting sex acts without the consent of the people involved.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro - REUTERS

Representative Kim Kataguiri (DEM-SP), who is allied with Bolsonaro, said that the tweet is "incompatible with the behavior expected from a president, especially a right-wing one," and called it a "gaffe."

Brazil's constitution considers lack of decorum an impeachable offense, although minority Senate leader Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP) considers unlikely that the Congress will call for Bolsonaro's impeachment over the episode.

On social media, the blowback came from both opposition and Bolsonaro's conservative base.  

The concern among the president's aides is that this kind of unexpected controversies will harm Bolsonaro's approval rates before the administration reaches its 100-day mark and damage essential issues like the Social Security reform.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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