The scene happened in Brazil and went viral this week on social networks.
Two Brazilian influencers, Kerollen Cunha and Nancy Goncalves, are being investigated by the judicial authorities of Rio de Janeiro for alleged racial crimes against two black children, reports the local media G1.
This week, the couple posted a video on Tiktok where they offer two minors the chance to choose between earning money or a surprise gift. Both children go for the second option and the first one receives a banana, while the other one gets a stuffed monkey.
The scene went viral and reached Fayda Belo, a renowned Brazilian lawyer, who made the event visible and described it as “monstrosity”. In a video on Twitter, this specialist in gender crimes and anti-discrimination rights accused Kerollen and Nancy of using discrimination against black people for recreational purposes and warned that it is a crime punishable by up to “almost eight years in prison”.
Citing the country’s laws for the protection of minors, Belo affirms that the two women would have violated the “moral integrity” of minors and violated a provision that prohibits exposing them to shameful situations, “harassment, humiliation and ridicule in public.”
The lawyer invited people to denounce this “cowardly act” before the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro, which she called on to take action on the matter. As a result, more than 700 complaints have been sent to the legal institution and are currently being investigated by the city’s Racial Crimes Police Station, G1 notes.
The ‘influencers’ defend themselves
The video in question was removed from TikTok, where Kerollen and Nancy have more than 13 million followers and thousands of views. Regarding the controversy unleashed by their actions, the ‘influencers’ shared on the social network this Wednesday a note to the press from their legal advisory, where they reject any accusation of racial discrimination, arguing that their publication “was taken out of context and interpreted from distorted shape”. “It is essential to analyze the facts fairly and impartially before reaching any conclusion,” they defend.
The statement asks to consider the reputation of those involved, who, according to it, actively collaborate with organizations and projects that promote diversity and the inclusion of minorities. The two are willing to deal with the matter “responsibly and diligently” and vow to “learn from this episode” and “reflect on the impact of their statements.”
The Public Ministry considers that the recording reveals discriminatory and prejudiced behavior against black children, for which reason it asked Kerollen and Nancy to give a statement and also to listen to the children who appear in the recording, as well as their guardians.
Fayda Belo confirmed this Wednesday that the corresponding police investigation is already open so that the accused answer before the law. In this regard, he asked citizens not to take the law into their own hands in the event of running into women on public roads. Although the case has generated “revulsion” among Brazilian society, it is necessary to act within the law, she emphasized.