Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This footage shows an outraged woman slamming McDonald’s as “communists” over its unisex toilets in a Brazilian city, the mayor of which has fined the restaurant for public health violations.
The footage, which is making the rounds on social media, was filmed in the city of Bauru, in the state of Sao Paulo in south-eastern Brazil, before being shared online on Friday (12th November).
In the footage, a woman, who has not been named, can be seen criticising the fast-food joint, saying that having unisex toilets, which can be used by men, women and transgender people, is “absurd”.
The footage shows the doors to the individual toilets bearing signs that show a stick figure wearing a skirt, another stick figure without a skirt, and a third stick figure that appears to have a skirt on one side of it but not on the other.
Under the three stick figures, the words “WC Individual” can be seen.
The restaurant has since been fined by Suellen Rosim, 33, who is a journalist, singer and Brazilian politician who was elected the first female Mayor of the city of Bauru as a member of the right-wing religious political party Patriota (Patriot), according to media outlet Correio Braziliense.
The newspaper reported that locals in the city of Bauru are opposed to her decision to fine McDonald’s, but she is reportedly supported by the base of the country’s controversial president Jair Bolsonaro, 66, whose views have been described as homophobic and anti-LGBT.
Rosim took to Twitter on Saturday 13th November to announce the fine against McDonald’s, saying: “In relation to a video circulating on the internet about the bathrooms of a cafeteria network in Bauru, the Health Surveillance was on site and the requirements of the city’s health code are not being met, so measures were taken!”
According to article 96 of the Bauru Health Code, toilets must “be separated and identified for each sex”, according to Correio Braziliense.
The City Hall reportedly issued a statement saying that the establishment was fined and had up to 15 days to appeal and provide justification. If the statement is not made or the justification is rejected, the establishment may be fined and even banned.
McDonald’s, meanwhile, is quoted in the newspaper as saying that it promotes inclusive environments and that it “adopted individual and independent-use cabins so that all people feel welcome and can use them in comfort and privacy.”
The footage at the root of the incident shows a woman slamming the fast food giant over the unisex toilets, calling the American corporation “communists” and adding: “This filth has to be shut down. They’re doing it in every city. But in my city I won’t allow it.”
She added that she did not want to use a toilet “with a man, with a woman, where everyone uses the same bathroom”.