Police in Rio de Janeiro have identified one of the people responsible for a gasoline bomb attack targeting satirists behind a gay Jesus Christmas program on Netflix that some critics have described as blasphemous.
Officers carried out a search warrant Tuesday morning and found money, a fake firearm, ammunition, a “political-philosophical” shirt and computers, police said in a written statement. Police also had a warrant for the suspect’s arrest, but he remains at large.
The Rio de Janeiro offices of Porta dos Fundos, the comedy troupe that made The First Temptation of Christ, was attacked on 24 December following widespread outrage at the 46-minute short film.
Two petrol bombs were thrown at the building which caught fire. While the producers said that the bombs “endangered several innocent lives in the company and on the street,” the offices were thankfully empty at the time and the fire was put out.
A video shared on social media appeared to show the attack and a fascist group called Command of Popular National Insurgence has claimed responsibility, asserting that the filmmakers are Marxist extremists.
The Brazilian Netflix special has Jesus returning home to Mary (who smokes marijuana) and Joseph for his 30th birthday. He brings with him a young gay man named Orlando, and it’s implied that the two are romantically involved.
The film was slammed as blasphemous for depicting a gay Jesus and more than 2 million people signed a petition demanding that it be pulled from Netflix. Viewers were also urged to cancel their subscription under the hashtag of #cancelnetflix.
The police have confirmed the authenticity of the attack footage and are looking for at least four suspects.
Porta dos Fundos, which won an International Emmy for its similarly Jesus-themed 2018 Christmas special, The Last Hangover, condemned the bombing, called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and said it was ensuring the safety of its team.
“Porta dos Fundos would like to reinforce our commitment to good humour and declare that we will move on stronger, more united, inspired, and confident that Brazil will survive this storm of hatred, and love will prevail along with freedom of speech,” said the defiant filmmakers in a statement.