The Rio de Janeiro offices of Porta dos Fundos, the Brazilian production company behind the satirical Netflix comedy “The First Temptation of Christ,” were firebombed on Christmas Eve in what appeared to be a right-wing terrorist attack.
No one was injured in the attack, in which several molotov cocktails were hand-thrown at the offices of Porta dos Fundos (“Back Door”), known for other similarly biting comedies. “The First Temptation of Christ,” which debuted on Netflix Dec. 3, portrays Jesus returning home to his family for the holidays, and bringing with him what appears to be his same-sex partner.
The film has been heavily criticized by religious-affiliated groups in Brazil and abroad who object to the film’s portrayal of Jesus. And in a video released after the attack, a group claiming credit cited similar objections, saying the attack was intended to “seek justice” for “all Brazilians against the blasphemous, bourgeois and anti-patriotic attitude” behind the film, the New York Times reports. The video calls Porta dos Fundos “militant Marxists,” and includes footage of the attack.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Porta dos Fundos condemned “any act of violence” and said it has provided security camera images to law enforcement. The company said it will make a further statement when more information is available, adding “we anticipate that we will move on, more united, stronger, more inspired, and confident that the country will survive this storm of hatred and love will prevail along with freedom of speech.”
“We have endured all types of verbal assaults, online, even from members of Congress,” Gregorio Duvivier, the actor who plays Jesus in the film and is a member of Porta dos Fundos (“Back Door) said in a statement after the attack. “But this is the first time we’ve faced violence of this nature, an attack that could have killed people.”
The attacks come amid increasing political tension in Brazil as the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has staked out hard-line positions on multiple hot button issues. Among others, these include vocal opposition to marriage equality and equal rights for LGBTQ Brazilians, and support for the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1965-1985.
Netflix has not yet publicly commented on the uproar over the special or the attack. The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment from TheWrap.