Molotov cocktails – bottles filled with flammable liquid – were reportedly hurled at the headquarters of Brazillian comedy group Porta dos Fundos on December 24 in reaction to the group’s Netflix film which depicts Jesus Christ as gay. The comedy group says that a security guard managed to contain the fire at the office and that no one was injured in the incident.
The attackers have yet to be identified and the case is being investigated by Brazillian authorities. “Porta dos Fundos condemns any act of violence and has made the security camera images available to the authorities and expects those responsible for the attacks to be found and punished,” the comedy group tweeted after the incident.
The film, A Primeira Tentação de Cristo (The First Temptation of Christ) follows a seemingly altered story of the son of God returning home to Mary and Joseph, bringing with him a presumed male lover, Orlando.
Reaction by the public
Brazil is home to the world’s largest Roman Catholic community and it is also reportedly one of the deadliest countries to be gay or transexual. More than two million people signed a petition to demand the film’s removal after its December 3 release on Netflix.
The Brazillian president’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, has said that although Brazil respects freedom of speech, the movie, however, was an insult to the faith of the nation. “The @NetflixBrasil has just launched a “Christmas Special” where Jesus Christ ( @gduvivier) is gay and has relationships with @FabioPorchat as well as refusing to preach God’s word. We are in favor of free speech, but is it worth attacking the faith of 86% of the population?” he tweeted.
Audiences from all around the world have given mixed reviews on the Netflix Christmas special, some calling it blasphemy while others deem it satire. “I would be ashamed to be the person who wrote this movie. I would also be fearful. But really Netflix? You have lost my subscription and my family members and friends. I understand people don’t think the same way, but this is a complete disrespect to the Christian faith and on purpose. What a shame. Netflix, you should take it down immediately,” said one viewer. “Funny and satirical in the vein of Montey [sic] Python, loved it,” said another Google user.
In defense of the film
The comedy group’s cofounder Fábio Porchat has defended the film, saying that criticism of the movie is homophobic. “It doesn’t incite violence, we’re not saying people shouldn’t believe in God. They [Netflix] haven’t said anything to us like, ‘Maybe we should stop making the special available.’ They support freedom of speech,” said Porchat.