NYC Museum Cancels Gala To Honor Brazilian President

The New York Times reports:

The American Museum of Natural History said Monday that it would no longer host an event at the museum by an outside organization that was to have honored President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, whose environmental policies have come under fire.

The announcement followed days of criticism that a prominent institution dedicated to nature and science would serve as a platform to recognize someone who has proposed environmental deregulation and opening more of the Amazon rain forest to mining and agribusiness.

The event was to have been held in May in the museum’s Hall of Ocean Life, a popular space for galas. The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization that promotes business and cultural ties between the United States and Brazil, had rented the space.

The New York Daily News reports:

Jair Bolsonaro is a highly controversial figure, whose ultra-nationalist and protectionist views have earned him the nickname “Trump of the Tropics” — which he proudly acknowledges. His incendiary comments targeting minority communities, as well as the relentless attacks on the environment, are always met with a mix of disbelief and despair by his critics.

A self-proclaimed “proud” homophobe, Bolsonaro has famously stated that he wouldn’t rape a congresswoman because she’s “not worth raping; she is very ugly;” and that he’d prefer to have a dead son to a gay son. When he took office in January, one of his first executive orders targeted Brazil’s indigenous groups, descendants of slaves and the LGBTQ community.