Justice sentences Dani Calabresa to pay R$ 15,000 for homophobic offense

Justice sentences Dani Calabresa to pay R$ 15,000 for homophobic offense

The São Paulo court ordered comedians Dani Calabresa and Bento Ribeiro to pay social columnist Marcelo Bandeira R$15,000.

Dani and Bento were presenters of Furo MTV, a satirical news show on MTV Brasil, and in 2011 they commented on TV Gazeta on a faux pas committed by presenter Claudete Troiano of the show Manhã Gazeta.

Bandeira took part in part of the show and was dubbed “the fag that works with her” and “gay helper” by the comedians.

The columnist claimed to have been humiliated and ridiculed and filed a lawsuit against the comedians and the network, seeking R$272,500 in compensation for moral damages.

“The Required [Dani e Bento] take an aggressive, derogatory attitude towards homosexuals, the overweight and the ugly and often act without prejudice,” the columnist said in defense.

Dani Calabresa told the court that at the time of the events, “TV content, particularly humor, that included the issue of sexual orientation was common and accepted in our society.”

“Fag was a totally accepted term back then,” he explained.

The comedian said the humorous content never “discredited or disparaged” the columnist. “You have to keep in mind that humor is not only characterized by relaxation, but also uses exaggeration, exaggeration, the obvious, the absurd as tools.”

According to his lawyers, there was no discrimination. “Disapproval of its content is limited to those who hear it, and the judiciary has no responsibility to make a value judgment to impose a sanction on the artist, under threat of censorship.”

Bento told justice that he did not interfere with the content of the program, but was merely acting as a moderator of what the screenwriters had worked out, also invoking freedom of expression.

Abril, the owner of MTV Brasil, said that the program’s content could be considered distasteful, “but there was no personal attack aimed at offending the columnist”. According to Abril, there was “a satirical approach that evolved from the personal and public characteristics of the protagonists” of the Gazeta show.

“If there is a satirical television show, nothing is expected of it other than satire, and this style of humor cannot be taken as an insult to the simple isolated use of popularly adopted slang.”

Judge Daniela de Paula did not accept the argument. “Obviously the author’s treatment [do processo] it’s offensive. Terms like ‘faggot’ show disgust with the sexual orientation of homosexual people,” he said in the sentence.

“Although the defendants claim that the remarks were joking and not offensive, the comments addressed to the author constituted a notorious mockery of his identity. Homoaffectivity, historically marginalized, must be protected from demeaning behavior.”

In addition to the comedians, the broadcaster was also sentenced to pay the compensation.

They can still appeal the decision.