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Brazil not amused by Robin Williams' stripper jokes

Dec 1, 2009, 5:45 PM EDT

So I thought I’d lighten the mood and bring us all back to earth with this completely serious bit of news: Brazil is about to sue Robin Williams. In what is believed to the the first time a large South American nation has threatened legal action against a stand-up comedian, Brazil is unhappy with a comment Williams made on Late Night with David Letterman recently. The remark had something to do with strippers, cocaine and the 2016 Olympics, all delicate subjects in Brazil these days. Oh come on, who among us have not made jokes about Brazilian strippers?

Not making any of this up, by the way.

Some citizens and officials in the Brazilian city are upset with comments the comedian made on a recent appearance on the “Late Show” with David Letterman, saying Rio received the 2016 Olympics because it sent “50 strippers and a pound of blow” to compete with Chicago’s entourage that included President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

Williams’ comments have been replayed several times on news shows across Brazil on Tuesday. Mayor Eduardo Paes says Williams is envious of Rio’s achievement.

Rio’s Olympic Committee said its lawyers will see whether legal action against Williams is possible.

Yes, I can just see Williams sitting in his mansion as the 2016 Olympics bid was announced, screaming “Damn! Were’s my notepad?!”
No joke: Rio upset at Williams’ Olympic line [Associated Press]

  1. YANKEES1996 - Dec 2, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    Domingos, Correct me if I am wrong but Robin Williams did not make a joke about the war on drugs, he said that Brazilian officials must have sent hookers and blow to the IOC to get the games brought to Rio. No joke there about a drug war or senseless death and destruction. I agree with you about the Germans, Americans and Irish not thinking certain things are funny, it is a fact of life that certain things when joked about are not funny. However comparing the 9/11 attacks to the drug war in Brazil are not close to being the same, the government in Brazil has never put serious effort into the problem because a large portion of the government is on the payroll so to speak. The innocent people and first responders that were killed during 9/11 were simply trying to earn a living and get home to their families. Now that being said I realize that there are plenty of innocents that have been killed in the drug war but that is an internal Brazilian problem not another entity attacking you on your own soil because they dislike the standard of living that we as Americans have created. The answer to the question in the back of your mind at this point is YES I did lose several friends in the 9/11 attacks that were there to simply try to make a difference! Mutual Respect I think it is a fantastic idea and would like to see it catch on. Mr.Williams’s statement was a joke, it was about bribery not about the drug war or sensless death, was it off color maybe, maybe not but lets not go to war over one comment by a comedian.

  2. Enlightened Meathead - Dec 2, 2009 at 4:19 PM
    Can’t say I’ve ever heard a movie described THAT way before…

  3. Mack Knight - Dec 2, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    YANKEES1996….good one….sorry to hear about your loses…have a great day, Mack

  4. Marcelo Teive - Dec 2, 2009 at 9:27 PM

    Mr. Williams will lose a lot of money here in Brazil.
    We are a huge market for the american film industry.

  5. Ludmilla Veloso - Dec 3, 2009 at 7:37 AM

    Well, I am very sorry for Mr. Williams. Lots of Brazilians are now boycotting him. It is very disappointing to see a public person that does not have any respect for anything. I support any legal action taken towards him.

  6. Lombardi - Dec 3, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    You know, I’m Brazilian and I don’t see any problem in Mr. Williams’ joke whatsoever. Besides, we all know our biggest cities have lots of problems, like many others worldwide. So, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen, right?

  7. emilia camargo - Dec 6, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Hi people! I sincerely agree Mr Williams’ jokes were not a great deal for him here in Brazil. We are a very huge market for the american film industry as Marcelo Teive has said and also very proud of our country. We really have troubles but I’m quite sure we have more to celebrate! We are a great, wealth country, we have the greatest rainforest in the world and both government and people caring about it, we are a warmfull and kind people, our country is revealing to the world its power and our social troubles are a challenge we all are involved. We also are one of the greatest multiracial countries and democracies in the world. I have travelled a lot, studied different languages and think really human feelings are the same worldwide. We are all human beings and Mr Williams’ jokes are not funny for Brazilian or any other people of the world he would “attack” with his nonsense words. I respect you and admire you American people and think as we you also have a country to be proud of… So Mr Williams is completely “out”…

  8. WTF - Dec 7, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    I think Robin Williams is just a old doped decadent actor and that joke is just as stupid as people who laugh on it. If Chicago don’t won it’s because don’t deserve it, like Williams don’t deserves the success reached, nether the attention gain with that comment.

  9. Monkey - Dec 7, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    Mr. Williams is much more interested in “50 strippers and a pound of blow” than Olympics.

  10. Margot - Dec 20, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    Well, you must understand that, for cultural reasons, this isn’t humor or joke in Brazil. But, as we know, americans don’t respect other cultures, as we can see in Iraq… For them, their alone in the world. That’s why everybody in the world hate you.

  11. massa - Jan 19, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    hii..ive been to brazil several is a beautiful country so if you haven’t been there don’t talk shit about brazil.i think that robin williams shouldn’t of said anything about brazil because i don’t think we americans would like jokes like that.i think we would be pretty mad if some other person from a different country said a joke about our country.we would be pretty defensive,like brazil had a right to get mad if they didn’t like the joke,like we have a right to get mad if we don’t like a joke that people make about our country.they our just protecting there country.yes they know that robin william spoke the truth about the strippers but we also have strippers here in america.Brazil is not all about strippers,alchol,sex,and etc.They also have to fight for many things up there.Here we also have strippers,alchol,sex,and etc.So if brazil didn’t like the comments let them do what they think is right,like if someone cracked up a joke about america and it wasn’t a very disrespectful joke about america but you didn’t like it we would also get very defenseless because its our country and nobody can mess with our country and thats what basically what they are stop putting bad comments about brazil or any other country because i won’t accept it for all of you jackasses out there.thank you respect other peoples country the way our country should be respected.

  12. Bruno - May 21, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    So many different opinions huh!?
    I think it all comes down to one word: “Hypocrisy”
    The old “cast the first stone” story… If any of you protesting, for as much as one second, EVER thought (no need to speak): “Canadian weirdo”, “stupid latin”, “french stuck up”, “nazi german”, “cheap jew”… (just to mention the easiest of some of the many things I hear), or going a little further: “stupid blonde”, “red neck bastard”,”man are all the same”… I could go on forever! And believe me, you would find a match for your own thoughts or sayings. If you as much as thought of any of this kinds of generalizations, and are protesting, you’re an hypocrite too… just like Robin would be, since he had his share of drug issues. But no… it’s his job to have this joking behavior, one can’t blame him.
    Here in Brazil we say Gauchos are faggs, Northeast people are lazy and poor (and they really are), and yes, we say that people in RIO are streetwise, women there are at least “easy” and sometimes we make fun with the drug issue. BUUUUUT… we CAN… right!? It’s our country!! lol
    So quit the BS guys! Don’t end up as hypocrite clowns. Seriously fellow U.S.ers… it’s not a big deal! We also make fun of our States inside the borders!