Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro mocked Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo and appeared to insult his intelligence on Thursday in response to Ruffalo accusing Bolsonaro of threatening a “coup” in his own country.
Bolsonaro, referring to the actor as “Mark Ruffles,” wrote on Twitter that Ruffalo needed to “calm down” in response to Ruffalo amplifying a protest in Los Angeles against the conservative Brazilian president’s arrival there. Bolsonaro flew into the city on Thursday to attend the Summit of the Americas and his first in-person summit with President Joe Biden.
That meeting, Bolsonaro later said, was “exceptional, better than [he] was expecting.” On Thursday, Bolsonaro and Biden exchanged cordial, if awkward, remarks about cooperating on food security, environmental policies, and promoting democracy around the world.
Prior to the meeting, Ruffalo had posted on Twitter urging Biden to antagonize Bolsonaro.
“The man you are meeting with today does not respect democracy and consistently threatens a coup,” Ruffalo claimed. “As the 1/6 hearings begin, remember to stand on the side of democracy.”
Bolsonaro was elected in a universally accepted legitimate election in October 2018, shortly after a socialist attempted to stab him to death at a campaign rally, leaving him with long-term health complications. Ruffalo did not elaborate on what Bolsonaro had said or done to offend him or give any examples of Bolsonaro threatening a “coup.”
Bolsonaro responded with an extensive thread in which he told “Mark Ruffles” to “calm dowm [sic]” and mocked his acting in the Hulk films.
– Dear Mark Ruffles, calm dowm! I'm sure you have never read the Brazilian Constitution, but I can assure you it's nothing like the complicated Hulk scripts you have to memorize:"AHGFRR". Read it and you'll find out I'm not only respecting it, but protecting Brazil's rule of law. https://t.co/djBbccMAPX
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) June 10, 2022
“The records show my government has always been on the side of democracy and the Constitution,” Bolsonaro continued. “It’s the Brazilian left (your masters) who wants to control the press, curb freedom of speech, censor the internet and financially support dictatorships like Cuba and Venezula [sic], not me.”
Bolsonaro then compared Ruffalo to the comic book villain Thanos and called original Hulk Lou Ferrigno “much cooler.”
– By the way, the original Hulk was much cooler. He didn't need a computer to look strong and actually understood something about nature. 👍 pic.twitter.com/baNcuFcg3P
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) June 10, 2022
Ruffalo appears to be joining a years-long campaign by Hollywood elite and leftist leaders of European countries against Bolsonaro initially led by fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio and French President Emmanuel Macron. In 2019, the paid and other celebrities, such as Madonna, began sharing photos on social media of a fire they claimed was happening at the time in the Amazon Rainforest, accusing Bolsonaro of not acting to preserve the ecological treasure. Photos that DiCaprio and Macron shared were later revealed to have nothing to do with Bolsonaro. The most viral photo shared was undated but was taken by a photographer who died in 2003, when leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was president.
Lula is currently running against Bolsonaro in the 2022 presidential election, despite being convicted of stealing taxpayers’ dollars.
At the time, Bolsonaro condemned criticisms related to the rainforest, accusing Macron in particular of colonialism during his annual address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Bolsonaro also accused DiCaprio personally of “collaborating with the burning of the Amazon” by funding non-governmental organizations that Bolsonaro claimed were deliberately setting fires to blame them on his presidency.
“The United Nations performed a key role in overcoming colonialism in the past. It must not allow this mindset to come back to its halls no matter what pretext,” Bolsonaro told the U.N. “France and Germany use up more than 50 percent of their territories for agriculture. In contrast, Brazil uses no more than 8 percent. 61 percent of our territory is preserved.”
DiCaprio has continued his campaigning against Bolsonaro despite not being a Brazilian citizen or having any overt ties to the country. This year, DiCaprio encouraged young people to register to vote in the 2022 election, clearly intending to encourage votes against the conservative president. Following a meeting between DiCaprio and Brazilian pop star Anitta, the latter posted a message on social media attacking Bolsonaro.
“I’m happy that you spoke to a Hollywood actor, Anitta, it is the dream of every teenager,” Bolsonaro replied on Twitter, asking Anitta to encourage DiCaprio to “give up his jets and yachts.”
The pressure from Ruffalo and others did not appear to prompt Biden to attack Bolsonaro during their bilateral meeting on Thursday. On the contrary, according to Bolsonaro, the meeting was “exceptional, better than I expected.”
“There is a very large interest, yes, from the USA to Brazil, and the reciprocal is true. And if we can really consolidate, expand this North-South axis, that would be good for everyone,” Bolsonaro said after their discussion, according to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo.
During the public part of the meeting, Biden complimented Brazil for its environmental policies, contrary to the complaints of Ruffalo, DiCaprio, and others.
“You’ve made some real sacrifices as a country in the way you’ve tried to protect the Amazon, which is a great carbon sink in the world,” Biden told Bolsonaro. “And I think the rest of the world should be participating in helping you finance being able to preserve as much as you can. It seems like it’s an international responsibility because we all benefit from it.”
In 2020, prior to becoming president, Biden threatened at a presidential debate to destroy the Brazilian economy if Bolsonaro did not take $20 billion to “stop tearing down the forest.” Biden never clarified where the money came from, how he arrived at that sum, or what measures he would consider sufficient to “stop tearing down the forest.” Bolsonaro at the time responded by apparently threatening a military attack on the United States.
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