Citizenship Minister Osmar Terra, who oversees Brazil’s film agency, ANCINE, withheld about $17 million meant to fund around 80 films. Four of those were surrounding LGBT issues.
Brazilian prosecutors filed charges against Terra through Rio de Janeiro’s federal court, asking to restore the funding and fine the minister, according to Reuters. They also want to ban Terra from political office for eight years. The prosecutors said the only way to stop only the gay films from airing was to cut all films’ funding.
“As there was no legal way to prevent only the four projects from being excluded from the contest in its final phase, the ‘solution’ found was to sacrifice the entire process,” the prosecutor’s office said, according to Reuters.
Many Brazilian lawyers, artists and politicians blame the alleged censorship on the country’s growing homophobia under President Jair Bolsonaro.