Critics are crying foul over the decision to decorate via projection the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro in pop sensation Taylor Swift’s honor.
“Taylor Swift received a special welcome in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday night with a projection on the city’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue as she continues the Latin American leg of her Eras Tour in Brazil,” NBC News reported.
“A shirt with the words ‘Welcome to Brasil’ was displayed on the statue, along with the names of Brazil’s states. The projection also featured symbols of Swift’s music, including a scarf (a nod to her hit song ‘All Too Well’) and a bow and arrow (most likely referring to ‘The Archer’),” NBC News reported Thursday.
The shirt’s design reportedly resembled the design of a shirt Swift wore in the music video for her hit “You Belong With Me.”
Taylor Swift received a unique welcome to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a projection on the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue ahead of concerts in the city. https://t.co/0u2ftcILT9 pic.twitter.com/UdtrMG74pB
— ABC News (@ABC) November 17, 2023
Taylor Swift is welcomed to Brazil with a projection on the Christ the Redeemer statue honoring her. pic.twitter.com/TqiVJjeRgA
— Pop Base (@PopBase) November 17, 2023
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes reportedly confirmed earlier that the statue would be decorated via projection, arguing that Swift’s arrival in town was equivalent to the arrival of someone as grand as Michael Jackson or Madonna.
“We will properly honor Taylor Swift and her arrival to carioca territory tonight. Welcome, Taylor Swift,” he said in an X video published Thursday.
Carioca is a term used to refer to the people of Rio de Janeiro.
View the mayor’s post below:
“Swifties” cariocas… are you ready for it? pic.twitter.com/HReNorFIma
— Eduardo Paes (@eduardopaes) November 16, 2023
“The mayor’s announcement comes after an online movement from fans who pleaded for Omar Raposo, rector of the sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer, to project a shirt from one of Swift’s music videos onto the statue upon her arrival,” NBC News notes.
“Raposo agreed, but only if Swifties managed to donate 20,000 units of panettone, a sweet bread eaten at Christmas, and clean water as part of a fundraiser to support local charities for the Holy See’s World Day of the Poor,” according to the network.
But none of this is enough for those who say that what the city has done is blasphemous and an affront to the Christian religion.
— Michelangelo – 2024 Elections here we come.. (@_Michelangelo__) November 17, 2023
This is very offensive
— SNS (@Snshores) November 17, 2023
She needs to ask them to take that down. Nobody should think themselves worthy of that.
— Erin (@ErinThib3) November 17, 2023
Christ as a billboard- or projecting onto “the Icon of the Invisible God” an idol of superficiality and in doing so demonstrating the soul crushing bankruptcy of a culture that raises vapid commercialization to ultimate concern.
— FrSteveGrunow (@FrSteveGrunow) November 17, 2023
— Jose Machado (@JoseMac67851698) November 17, 2023
There has also been some racially tainted criticism.
“If this was Beyoncé there would be so much outrage and headlines saying ‘she thinks she’s god’ and people calling her fans a ‘cult’ but since it’s a yt woman with blue eyes and blonde hair it’s okay,” one critic claimed.
But in fairness to the city, this isn’t by any means the first time something has been projected onto the statue.
“Christ the Redeemer frequently projects messages or visuals in support of social and cultural causes. In July, the statue displayed a clock symbolizing the urgent state of the climate crisis. And in 2020, an array of flags of countries impacted by the coronavirus pandemic was displayed,” NBC News notes.
On Saturday, #ClimateEmergency Day, the Rio de Jeneiro team in Brazil projected the Climate Clock on the iconic Christ The Redeemer statue overlooking the city. We have to #ActInTime within the next 5 years to save our world. Photos courtesy of Tatiele Azeredo. pic.twitter.com/S9SjREP6Wv
— CLIMATE CLOCK (@theclimateclock) July 24, 2023
According to Entertainment Tonight, Rio is the second stop on this particular leg of Swift’s tour.
“Earlier this month, Swift had a three-show stint in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Swift’s boyfriend, Travis Kelce, made the trip to see her show, and was rewarded with a special lyric change and a post-show kiss. After the shows in Rio, Swift will perform three shows in São Paulo, Brazil. She’ll then have a break until February, at which time she’ll head to Tokyo, Japan,” ET notes.
“Taylor has a two-month break in her tour, taking December and January off, and the couple is planning to spend more time together during that time,” an unnamed source told the outlet.
“Taylor and Travis are on the same page and have a lot in common. Both are extremely close to their families and share morals and views on a lot of things,” the source added.
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