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Two of the participants of Big Brother Brazil, one of the most watched television programs in the country, were expelled after being accused of sexually harassing Mexican influencer Dania Mendez, who was participating as a guest.
The singer Mc Guimê and the martial arts fighter Antônio Carlos, known as "Cara de Zapato", were expelled from Big Brother Brasil 2023 by decision of the management of the television station Globo, announced on Thursday night and that generated great repercussion in the media of Brazil and Mexico.
Both were accused of sexually harassing Mendez, a participant in the current edition of La Casa de los Famosos de México who would participate for a few days in the Brazilian program through an exchange.
Mendez, who had only been on the Brazilian program for a few hours, was the victim of alleged harassment by his Brazilian colleagues at a party organized by the producers on Wednesday night and characterized by excessive alcohol.
Mc Guinê, married to popular Brazilian singer Lexa, stroked the Mexican's buttocks and tried to touch her breasts during the party even though Mendez discreetly eluded him.
"Cara de Zapato" was more daring and, after trying to kiss the Mexican on the mouth and despite the victim's refusal, he finally gave her a kiss on the lips without consent.
The acts generated protests on social networks in Brazil for several hours throughout Thursday without Globo pronouncing itself, which only happened almost in the early hours of Friday when the expulsion of both participants was announced.
The decision was prompted by the announcement by Rio de Janeiro's Civil Police that it had opened an investigation into alleged sexual harassment against the two participants of Big Brother Brazil and would call them to testify at a police station.
"I'm here to tell you about something very unpleasant. We have a visitor in our house and, like all women, she deserves absolute respect," said Big Brother Brazil host Tadeu Schmidt in announcing the expulsions.
Schmidt explained that the organizers considered that the two participants exceeded the limits and violated the rules of the program.
The decision was adopted despite the fact that Mendez herself, when called for a private conversation with one of the producers of La Casa de los Famosos, minimized the acts, said she had not felt attacked and attributed what happened to excessive alcohol.
After the announcement of the expulsion, the Mexican felt responsible, cried copiously and tried to apologize to the other participants, forcing Schmidt to intervene again to clarify that nothing that happened had been his fault.
On Friday night, the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva spoke out on the issue and said that violence against women "is not entertainment."
"The episode of sexual harassment on Brazil's highest-rated reality show is not an isolated case. The expulsion of the accused is necessary, but we are far from adequate treatment for these cases," the Ministry of Women said in a statement.
According to the ministry, it is necessary to "go further" so that women "never feel guilty" for the violence suffered.
According to The Trust Project criteria
- Big Brother