Note from BW of Brazil: So what’s next, not allowing black people to fly because the “look suspicious”? Amazing, yet another case of apparent racism on a Brazilian flight. You all may remember back in December when there was some discomfort with the presence of a group of young black people on a flight from the nation’s capital to São Paulo. The incident in that case actually took place while the plane was in air; in today’s controversy, the couple was harassed before the aircraft was even airborne!
The actor involved in the case is Érico Brás, who has appeared in a number of novelas and films but is probably not recognized immediately by name although people probably know his face. Here on this blog, we have featured the actor, his wife and children in previous posts in recognizing their creative work in a You Tube series meant to show that black Brazilians also consume products and thus their exclusion from TV commercials makes no logical sense. Check the details below and draw your own conclusion. A video of the dispute has recently surfaced as well (see it below as well).
Actor Érico Brás kicked off flight for being ‘a threat to security’ and accuses company of racism
Courtesy of Catraca Livre with information from A Tarde
After boarding an Avianca plane in Salvador International Airport on the morning of Thursday, 31, the actor Érico Brás and his wife, Kênia Dias, were expelled from the flight. The couple has been classified by the commander as “a threat to the security of the aircraft.”
Federal police were deployed to remove the couple from the aircraft, but they refused to leave. The confusion began after the commander asked Érico’s wife to place her purse in carry-on baggage area.
Brás says he and his wife were victims of racism on the part of Avianca, which prevented the actor embarking on the flight in Salvador International Airport
“A commissioner had authorized her to put it down (by her feet), but the commander came and said she could not. As everything was full, she asked him to find a place to put it. He then grabbed and shoved (the purse) rudely in the carry-on baggage area,” said the artist.
Érico said the attitude was “particular to whoever is racist” and questioned the treatment of the commander. “He asked me to leave the plane because I was a threat, being that he assaulted me. I felt extremely helpless,” he said.
Present on the same aircraft, the president of the Associação de Mulheres Empreendedoras do Brasil (Amebras or Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Brazil), Célia Domingues also considered that there was racism. “They didn’t use (racist) words, but surely the treatment was. They were extremely rude. The commander mused that Érico put his finger in his face and he didn’t. So began the quarrel.”
After being deployed, Federal Police said the commander was the highest authority within a flight and, as he refused to continue the journey with the couple on the plane, the actor and his wife had to leave. A group of passengers was unhappy with the decision and got off the aircraft along with the couple.
“They forced me to get off and then put me on a bus to be taken to the courtyard. They didn’t even accompany us to the courtyard. How am I a threat and I am placed on another flight?” asked Érico.
After registering occurrence in the Agência Nacional de Aviação (Anac or National Aviation Agency), the couple and other passengers were switched to a flight with Gol airlines. Érico said he also plans to file a complaint for moral damage and racism in Rio de Janeiro.
Avianca, through counsel, denied any act of racism and said the company “despises any prejudiced manifestation.” The airline also claimed that the disagreement was compromising the punctuality of the flight and in respect to the other passengers.