A white couple in Brazil are in hot water after they apparently wore blackface and black, curly-haired wigs to a party in a Christian church, causing outrage online.
The incident took place in a church in the city of Petropolis in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.
This photograph showing a white man and a white woman with their faces painted black and wearing black wigs is making the rounds on social media after it was taken at a fancy dress party at the Atitude Baptist Church in Petropolis, according to local media outlet Metropoles.
The newspaper reports that the photograph was shared by the couple on social media but it was quickly removed after it caused outrage.
The Committee on Education, Social Assistance and Defence of Human Rights for the city of Petropolis has now filed a criminal complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rio de Janeiro (MPRJ).
The move was announced by the president of the committee, named in local media reports as Yuri Moura, who said on Twitter: “Racism! The post by the couple who dressed up as ‘Nega Maluca’ for a fancy dress party at a church in Petropolis is racist.”
‘Nega Maluca’ is a doll whose name roughly translates as ‘Crazy Black Woman’. They are not dissimilar to the controversial ‘golliwog’ dolls which appeared in the late 19th Century.
Moura added: “We are drafting a criminal report for the Public Prosecutor’s Office and a statement of repudiation by the City Hall’s Human Rights Commission. Black people cannot be disrespected and ridiculed!”
It is currently unclear if the police are investigating the incident and if the couple, who have not been named, face any charges.