A second company has decided to distance itself from an event honoring far-right President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro.
Bain & Company, one of the country’s largest consulting firms, said it was withdrawing its sponsorship of the 2019 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner, an event organized by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce.
The announcement comes days after the Financial Times cut ties with the gala.
The annual event features leaders from the business, financial and diplomatic communities of both countries coming together to pay tribute to an honoree. This year, the controversial President of Brazil is set to receive the “Person of the Year” award for, among other reasons, emphasizing “the importance of Christian values and family.”
Bolsonaro is a self-proclaimed proud homophobe whose incendiary comments on women, indigenous groups, descendants of slaves, as well as his ultra-nationalist, anti-environmental, and dictatorial-friendly views have turned him into a major reason of concern among activists from countries around the world.
In a statement sent to GLAAD and obtained by the Daily News, Bain & Co. stated that it was “committed to strengthening the business ties” between the two countries, it has “decided to withdraw our sponsorship of the organization’s 2019 person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner,” Dan Pinkney Bain’s senior manager, global public relations wrote.
The 3.4B-company added that “adhering to our principles, in both spirit and action,” is one of the reasons Bain is recognized as “one of the best firms to work in rankings focused on diversity.” It works with several LGBTQ organizations across Brazil.
New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman expressed his strong opposition to the gala last week.
The openly gay lawmaker, who represents New York’s 27th Senate District in parts of Manhattan, has called on any companies that are connected to the event to withdrawn their support. They are sending a “dangerous message to LGBTQ communities that this type of blatant homophobia and bigotry is acceptable,” he told The News.
Zeke Stokes, GLAAD’s chief programs officer, was thankful to see companies withdrawing from the event.
“As more and more companies learn about the egregious and inhumane record and rhetoric of the Brazilian President, it’s clear that they do not wish to align themselves with his point of view by remaining a part of this event honoring him,” he told The News.
GLAAD, a media advocacy organization that works for LGBTQ acceptance, has been working to bring attention to the event with the “notorious anti-LGBTQ activist.”
The gala, now in its third location, is set to take place on May, 14 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. It had been previously scheduled to take place at The American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ocean Life. The museum, however, ceding to pressure from activists from the LGBTQ and environmental communities, decided to cancel the agreement with the event’s organizers.