Comedians not allowed to perform political satire

By | August 25, 2010 at 10:45 am | No comments | News | Tags: , ,

Reuters reports that several hundred Brazilian comedians took part in a protest recently against the country’s censorship of political satire. The comics are members of the “right to ridicule” campaign, a group formed in response to a new amendment passed by The Supreme Electoral Tribunal which outlaws “any use of audio or video that in any way degrades or ridicules candidates (or) political parties.”

The amendment calls for punishments such as a fine of 100,000 reais ($57,000), and almost double that repeat offenders.

“This is a joke — and it’s not in the slightest bit funny,” said comedian Fabio Porchat. “First we can’t laugh at politicians, but from here it’s going to grow — by 2015 we won’t even be able to talk about the government.”

The protestors wore clown noses and t-shirts with their movement’s clown with a cork stuffed in its mouth logo. One sign read, “If you don’t want to be a ridiculed politician, be an honest one.”

“This is a country that wants to be considered a mature democracy and then it comes out with something like this — it’s completely ridiculous,” said Danilo Gentili, a reporter for satirical news program CQC.

Brazil has an election for a new president and senators coming up on Oct 3.

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Brendan McLaughlin

Brendan is a comedian and writer based in Brooklyn, NY.

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