One year after a bombing attack rocked the Brazilian comedy troupe Porta dos Fundos, members of the group have finally spoken out about terror.
Troupe members Antonio Tabet, Fábio Porcha, and João Vicente de Castro sat down for an interview with UOL to discuss their annual 2020 Christmas special Theocracy in Vertigo. While promoting the show, the three also reflected on last year’s special, The First Temptation of Christ, and how backlash to the film almost cost them their lives.
The First Temptation of Christ, which aired on Netflix, ignited wide international backlash for portraying Jesus as a gay man. That revolt culminated in the firebombing of the offices of Porta dos Fundos on Christmas Eve. The resultant explosion and fire destroyed a large portion of the building, though nobody was injured.
Theocracy in Vertigo, this year’s Porta dos Fundos special, parodies the outcry over First Temptation. It should come as no surprise that members of the troupe also have vivid recollections of last year’s controversy.
“I’m sure they only dropped the bombs on Porta because Jesus was gay in last year’s stage,” said Tabet, one of the group’s co-founders. “I think we are only alive because Jesus was not gay and black; otherwise, it would be even more bombs.”
“Last year, the revolt of some was due to homophobia. It says a lot more about the people who revolted than about the special,” Porcha added. “‘The bomb was well made,’ ‘I want to make fun of Roman mythology,’ ‘if Jesus returns, I will kill again.’ These are sentences like the ones we received. I put a lot of ‘minions’ sentences…There are a lot of references in the clip that ends our special.”
“The events made us more sad than afraid because we live in a radical country,” de Castro said. “There, it has been proven that people are very crazy. But we never thought about not launching the special. We have always loved this cherry at the end of the year.”
Following the bombing last year, Brazilian police identified 41-year-old businessman Eduardo Fauzi Richard Cerquise as a suspect in connection with the attack. Cerquise was never arrested, and authorities speculate he fled Brazil for Russia following the bombing. Another suspect in the attack, Eduardo Fauzi, also fled to Russia.