Anti-LGBT Rio de Janeiro mayor Marcelo Crivella has announced that the translated edition of the Marvel comic book series Avengers: The Children’s Crusade would be removed from the literary festival Riocentro Bienal do Livro so as to protect the city’s children from what he described as “sexual content for minors.”
The so-called “sexual content”? A one-panel kiss between two male characters, Wiccan and Hulkling, who are in committed relationship. Both characters are clothed in the scene.
Crivella made the announcement on Twitter, in a video where he says, “Books like this need to be wrapped in black sealed plastic with a content warning displayed on the outside.” In ordering the removal of the title, he claims that the city’s authorities are “protecting the minors of our city.” In the text of the tweet itself, he describes the contents of the comic as “content that is unsuitable for minors.”
Crivella’s tweet followed an Instagram post from Rio de Janeiro councilman Alexandre Isquierdo, decrying the book and complaining that it was “spread[ing] homosexuality to CHILDREN!” (Emphasis his.) The sale of the book, he complained, was “an absurd crime.”
Officials at the Riocentro Bienal do Livro festival have refused to comply with the Crivella ‘order. Turns out the majority of outlets didn’t have the comic in stock in the first place, and the one that did reporting that copies had already sold out two days earlier.
Before being elected mayor the out-spoken and vehemently anti-gay Crivella was a bishop of the controversial Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, which is regarded by some as a “cult” and believes in exorcisms was founded by his uncle, Edir Macedo.