Impeached President Denounces Netflix Series on Brazil Corruption

Published: 29 March 2018

16656959999 2a83edbc88 zFormer President Dilma Rousseff (Source: Jonas Pereira/Agência Senado, CC BY 2.0)

By Katarina Sabados

Former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff criticized Netflix for political bias and character assassination in its latest series on the infamous Lava Jato corruption investigation, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Netflix debuted “The Mechanism” last Friday. The series begins ten years before the Lava Jato investigation with police investigating a money laundering scheme in the south of Brazil, eventually uncovering a larger bribery ring implicating politicians and businessman in the state-run oil company, which in the series is called Petrobrasil. 

As most quality shows do, The Mechanism sparked memes and tweets both positive and negative across social media. A valid criticism is that statements made in real-life by right-wing politicians were attributed to the leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the show.

Impeached former president Rousseff had particularly harsh words for the show’s producer, Jose Padilha, who she accused of smearing the leftist Workers’ Party (PT).

“Under the guise of telling the story of the Car Wash investigation in a series ‘based on real events,’ the director Jose Padilha distorts reality and spreads all sorts of lies to attack me and President Lula,” Rousseff said in a statement to Reuters.

“He has turned himself into a creator of fake news.” 

Rousseff was impeached for breaking budget laws, ending 14 years of leftist rule by the Workers Party. Lula, still Brazil’s most popular politician, faces a 12-year prison sentence and will likely be barred from running in this year’s election, even though he is the front-runner in early polls. 

The Workers’ Party (PT) is considering legal action against Netflix.