A TV commercial for a Brazilian bank featuring a trans woman has been removed after the country’s president intervened.
Banco do Brasil told AFP that the ad was removed after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro spoke with the state-run bank’s president, Rubem Novaes.
The statement said that the bank’s marketing director had also been fired, but gave no further details. The Brazilian president’s office has not commented on the matter.
The ad allegedly focused on several young people, including a trans woman and several black youths, going about their day, The Washington Post reports.
The move is the latest in a series of anti-LGBTI moves from the far-right, openly homophobic president.
Earlier this week, Bolsonaro said he did not want Brazil to become a ‘gay tourism paradise’.
History of homophobia
Bolsonaro is well-known for making offensive and disparaging comments about the LGBTI community.
In the past, he infamously said ‘Yes, I’m homophobic – and very proud of it’. Bolsonaro has also suggested that if parents see their son ‘acting a little bit gay’ they should beat him ‘to make him normal’, and that if he saw a gay couple on the street he would ‘whack them’.
During his presidential campaign, LGBTI rights activists expressed extreme concerns that Bolsonaro’s presidency would usher in a new wave of terror for Brazil’s LGBTI community.
The former army captain has also expressed admiration for Brazil’s military junta, which ruled from 1964 to 1985. Thousands of people were detained, tortured and executed during this time.
Other instances of Bolsonaro’s homophobic outbursts have been widely ridiculed.
In March, the far-right president tweeted a video of one man urinating on another at the annual Brazillian festival, Carnival.
The president said this highlighted how the famous event had become morally corrupt. The tweet has since been deleted.
Brazil is also one of the world’s deadliest places for trans people.
The country has one of the highest murder rates against trans individuals, with violence against the trans community being common and widespread.
Trans advocacy group, Transgender Europe, estimate that 125 trans people were killed in Brazil between January and September 2018.
The past month has seen numerous trans women brutally murdered throughout the country.
According to TransLivesMatter, a site which monitors the murders of trans women throughout the world, at least 10 trans women have been murdered in Brazil since the end of March.
Some were believed to have been tortured before they were killed.