Brazil’s Economic Affairs Minister on Thursday described Brigitte Macron as “really ugly”, in a new attack against the French First Lady following one launched by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
“The President said it, and it’s true. That woman is really ugly,” said Paulo Guedes, a heavyweight in Bolsonaro’s government, following uncomplimentary comments by the Brazilian President on Macron that aroused indignation both in France and in Brazil.
There is a lot of “truth” in what Bolsonaro said, the minister insisted in a debate with entrepreneurs in the north-eastern town of Fortaleza on the issue of the president’s remarks, judged “extremely disrespectful” by the French head of State.
Pausing after his remark, which drew loud applause from the businessmen, Guedes said, with a smile, “There are no ugly women, only women looked at from the wrong angle”.
Shortly after, his press service issued a press release in which the minister “apologises for the joke made today (Thursday) at a public event in Fortaleza, when he mentioned the French First Lady.”
“The minister’s intention was to illustrate the fact that relevant and urgent questions for the country are not given the place they deserve in the public debate,” the press release read. “There was no intention to make personal insults.”
The uproar caused by his statements had prompted Bolsonaro, amid the feuds between Brazil and France over his handling of the Amazon fires, to withdraw an offensive post on Macron on Facebook.
He had written “Do not humiliate the guy, LoL” – in reference to Macron – in a comment on a photo montage showing an unflattering photo of the French First Lady and a radiant Michele Bolsonaro on the day of her husband’s swearing-in with the caption: “Now you understand why Macron is persecuting Bolsonaro?”
Many Internet users in Brazil had expressed support for Brigitte Macron, apologizing to her and denouncing the statements as intolerable and sexist.