Following a Facebook Live appearance where he criticised projects with “sexual diversity content”, President Bolsonaro of Brazil has ordered funding be stopped for LGBT+ films and screenplays.
During the Facebook Live, Bolsonaro focused on an LGBT+ television series called Afronte which deals with the lives of young gay men. He questioned why anyone would want to make a programme “to show the reality lived by black homosexuals in Brasilia or the private life of whoever it is” and continued by saying the show would be cut.
All funding was then removed from the series, prompting its creator, Bruno Victor, to respond, “I feel very vulnerable to realise I produce content the president does not tolerate. It is important to state Bolsonaro’s act is a kind of censorship. He spoke of our project with ignorance and lack of respect for all professionals involved in it.”
Since then, further funds have been stopped from other films and screenplays with LGBT+ content including a documentary series about the lives of transgender people.
Last month, Bolsonaro warned ANCINE (Agencia Nacional do Cinema) – the federal film funding agency – that it would be closed down unless it followed governmental directives on the type of movies it could fund. All works moving forward should be focused on “family values”, the agency were told.
In a further worrying move, the agency was told to shut down its offices in the centre of the film industry in Rio de Janeiro and move to Brasilia, which is the political capital of the country.
Bolsonaro not only wants to make the country an unwelcoming place for LGBT+ residents, but also tourists. At the start of the summer he informed a group of journalists that there was no welcome for gay tourists in Brazil. He reportedly stated, “If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life. But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families.”
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