Bolsonaro Blasts Lewd Carnival Scene in Controversial Tweets

(Bloomberg) -- Carnival is a beloved institution in Brazil, a wild, sensual celebration that dates back centuries. But to the country’s new socially conservative president, Jair Bolsonaro, it is a scandalous affair that symbolizes just how much the country has lost its moral compass. 

And so he wasn’t about to let his first Carnival come and go without lashing out at its more extreme elements. Late Tuesday night, just as the festivities were winding down, Bolsonaro posted a video showing a scantily dressed man in leather appearing to touch himself in front of a crowd before bending down to be urinated on by another reveler during a Carnival procession.

“I don’t feel comfortable showing this but we have to expose the truth so that people are aware and can take precaution,” Bolsonaro wrote when posting the video on Twitter. “This is what many street processions have become in Carnival. Draw your own conclusions.”

On Wednesday morning, after his tweet went viral, Bolsonaro riled up Brazilians further with a follow-up tweet in which he asked, “What’s a golden shower?”

Bolsonaro Blasts Lewd Carnival Scene in Controversial Tweets

Ever since he launched his presidential campaign last year, Bolsonaro has been a lightning rod of controversy in Brazil. His comments on race, gender and education have deepened the divide on social media and in the traditional press between his ultra-conservative base and the socially liberal left.

On Wednesday evening, the presidential palace issued a statement about Bolsonaro’s tweets, noting that the video showed scenes that scandalized "not only the president himself, but a large part of society".

The statement added that the intent of the tweet was not to criticize Carnival as a whole but to highlight a "clear distortion of the festive spirit" of the country’s greatest and most democratic party.

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