By Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Several companies have reportedly pulled their sponsorship from an event honoring Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over his previous controversial comments about people from the LGBTQ community.
NBC News reports Bain & Co., the Financial Times and Delta have all pulled their sponsorship from the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce gala dinner honoring Bolsonaro as its 2019 Person of the Year.
The event has already been the source of controversy after the original host, The American Museum of Natural History in New York, said it would no longer hold the event following pushback from climate activists over Bolsonaro’s willingness to open the Amazon rainforest for development.
Bolsonaro is receiving the award for his role fostering and advancing the U.S.-Brazil relationship.
He is also being honored for emphasizing the “importance of Christian values and family,” according to the event’s website.
The event’s sponsors who have pulled out have taken issue with Bolsonaro’s comments critical of gay people, recently saying Brazil “can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism,” according to the BBC.
He has also previously said that he is “proud to be homophobic.” The event is set to take place May 14th at the Marriott Marquis in New York.
The hotel chain stood by its decision to host the event in a statement to NBC.
“Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of our hotel’s culture and operations. We have welcomed all for over 90 years and focused on putting people first. We are required by law to accept business even if it conflicts with our values,” a Marriott spokesperson told the news outlet.
“Acceptance of business does not indicate support, or endorsement of any group or individual.”