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Taylor Swift has just begun her 3-day show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as part of her Eras Tour and Brazil has given the singer a grand welcome. On Thursday, November 16, a T-shirt inspired by Swift’s song, “You Belong With Me,” was projected on Rio de Janeiro’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue. The shirt read “Welcome to Brasil.”
Social media users could not believe what they were seeing. Many thought that the whole thing was extremely disrespectful and claimed that Swifties had gone too far this time. One Instagram user commented:
“Wrong and disrespectful”: Netizens condemn Christ the Redeemer Taylor Swift tribute
On Thursday, a “You Belong With Me” inspired T-shirt was projected on the Christ the Redeemer statue to welcome Taylor Swift to Brazil. The original T-shirt from the music video read “Junior Jewels,” while this one said, “Welcome to Brasil”. The projection was even shared on the official Instagram account of the statue with “You Belong With Me” playing in the background.
A press release detailed that the shirt projection was actually a part of a campaign. Swift fans, in a viral plea, had asked Rio mayor, Eduardo Pae to project the T-shirt to welcome Swift. Pae took up the matter with the Sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer rector, Father Omar Raposo, who agreed to the Swifties’ demands provided that they agreed to his.
Raposo wanted Swift fans to donate 20,000 units of panettones and bottled water by 9 pm on Thursday to “help people in situations of vulnerability and social exclusion” in exchange for the projection. A statement from the sanctuary read that the initiative from the sanctuary aimed to:
“Raise awareness and mobilize society against poverty and social exclusion, in commemoration of the World Day of the Poor, established by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, which will be celebrated on November 19th.”
Swifties accepted and succeeded in the challenge, which led to the iconic statue adorning the T-shirt. All the costs of projection were incurred by the sanctuary, which welcomed everyone with open arms.
Mayor Eduardo Paes also took to X and asked Swifties if they were ready for the moment.
Despite the good-natured challenge leading to the projection of the T-shirt, netizens were still unhappy, with many pointing out that this was a disrespectful action.
People asked why a pop star’s T-shirt was being projected onto a religious statue like she was a “diety” and called it “blasphemy”. However, some defended the projection by comparing it with the time the Brazil football Jersey was projected onto the statue.
Taylor Swift addressed the projection in her November 17 show and exclaimed that it felt unreal, adding that she was “unworthy of this honor.” Swift is all set to perform in Rio from November 17 to 19, after which she will move on to Sao Paolo, where she will be performing from November 24 to 26.