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Sylvester Stallone Irks Brazilians

Sylvester Stallone, The Expendables

On Thursday, at Comic-Con (a.k.a. Nerd-Con) 2010 in San Diego Sylvester Stallone explained (quote via ScreenCrave) why he chose Brazil to shoot the ultra-violent The Expendables, about a bunch of aging mercenaries trying to overthrow a South American dictator:

“You can shoot people and blow things up and they say, 'Thank you! Take a monkey home with you!' We couldn't have pulled off what we did [somewhere else]. We blew up huge plots of land. It was like, Everybody bring their hot dogs. We're having a BBQ today. We're gonna blow up this village.”

Stallone then proceeded to ridicule the security situation in the South American country, making jokes about the police in Rio de Janeiro – which apparently wear uniforms stamped with a skull, two guns, and a knife.

Whether or not those in attendance at the Expendables panel found that sort of thing funny I don't know, but Stallone surely hasn't made any new friends in Brazil.

Twitter has been abuzz with irate Brazilians providing free publicity for The Expendables by way of “CALA BOCA SYLVESTER STALLONE” (“Shut up SS”) – Twitter's no. 1 trending topic worldwide – which is described as “a brazilian [sic] campaign to protest the actor Sylvester Stallone, for trying to denigrate the Brazilian image.”

The Brazilian mainstream media has also gotten in on the act, with pieces such as “Stallone badmouths Brazil and is target of twitterers' ire” (Veja magazine) and “After detonating Brazil, Stallone leaves event with an award” (at terra.com.br, which also remarked on the actor-director's “tasteless jokes”).

One report also included complaints Stallone has made about The Expendables' Brazilian crew.

Today, Stallone issued the inevitable apology by way of a press release, as reported in the Brazilian media.

By the way, the “award” Stallone received at Comic-Con was a Guinness World Records certificate for having created the most popular sports-related movie franchise ever, Rocky, which went from bad to worse from 1976 to 1990, earning $1.2 billion along the way. (The first Rocky beat Taxi Driver and Network for the Best Picture Oscar; also that year, Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face and Lina Wertmüller's Seven Beauties weren't even nominated.)

And finally, here's the best quote I've found from the Expendables Comic-Con panel, with Sylvester Stallone quoting Jean-Claude Van Damme, who turned down the role that eventually went to Dolph Lundgren:

“He told me, 'You should be trying to save people in South Central.'

“I knew I'd lost him.”

Photo: The Expendables (Karen Ballard / Lionsgate)

Stallone / Van Damme Quote: via the New York Times

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57 Comments to Sylvester Stallone Irks Brazilians

  1. Fusca Brasil

    The truth hurts. We know what Stallone described. Our Amazon forest is being destroyed by local and foreign criminals, the drug organizations are booming(including FARC with great simpathy and support of the ruling party), the corruption reached the highest level of the Brazilian history, but when such a simple mind from outside comes and says it to us, it hurts!

  2. heidi

    oh wow. over reacting much? if it was any regular person saying that, everyone would've thought it was funny. in America, we're always making fun of our other states and no one takes crap for that now do we? nope. everyone just laughs at it. and he never said that everything was perfect here. i'm sure he knows that our country (USA) is freakin screwed up just like every other country in the world. and everyone seems to somehow assume that when something like this that involves a celebrity, that they didn't try to do anything about it, but you don't seem to have any proof to back up that out of no where accusation.
    he didn't mean that he actually blew up anything there i don't think. but i mean if your gonna be all sympathetic to serial killers and rapists isn't there something wrong with you??
    and he wasn't even making fun of the WHOLE country, just the extremists.
    besides, the majority of you seem to make this accusation somehow that he's arrogant and that,”someone wrote a script for “Smielone” (lol great spelling by the way.) and he refused to pay the script-writer.” which was mentioned by,”William” on October 2nd, 2010. um, i'd like to see the proof for that. how do we know that your just making the guy up? and if your not, was this told to you before or after everyone made a mountain over a mole hill about Sylvestor's jokes. my guess is, IF you even knew the guy that wrote these scripts for him, he probably just said he didn't get his cut simply because he wanted to make him look bad. and he probably told you this after he made those jokes. either that or the guy that wrote scripts for him screwed someone in Sylvestor's “family” out of money so he did the same to him.
    if this did actually happen, you can't make accusations, you gotta find out why he didn't pay the guy.
    the HUGE accusations that people get and that the media makes everything look like is RIDICULOUS! it's like no one ever tries to find out anything for their selves anymore. they're just so damn gullible, they'll believe ANYTHING the media or anyone else says about anyone. ESPECIALLY someone famous.
    most of us in America are open to even make fun of our country too so why get your panties rolled up in a bunch and assume that he's arrogant and selfish and that he thinks he's this great guy? i seriously doubt that any of you have any idea what he thinks or what his personality is like.
    if he was making a joke about another state here in America,or if someone else from Brazil were to come over here from America and make jokes about it, we would've laughed. so lighten up people.

  3. Cleber

    i just hate guys like ss, we welcomed him and our goverment did not charge him for anything ,, advantage for him,, i ask why say bad things about OUR COUNTRY,, ? IF don't like us is simple get away,,, thats it. Sombory please tell him to be back here and ask for security with BOPE.

  4. William

    You left out that Slimelone was up to his usual self and stiffed Brazilians for $2,000,000.00. I know someone who wrote some scenes for Slimelone, tried to collect the amount he was contrated for and Slimelone had him thrown out and refused to pay up. He´s a Reich Wing scumbag and his films suck.

  5. luisa

    Yeah, okay, maybe we Brazilians overreacted a bit, but wouldn't anyone after you showed them great hospitality and kindness, and they later go around making fun of you? Any sane person would be offended, so you Americans shouldn't be talking in the least. And learn some sense of humor? What kind of twisted humor do you people enjoy?
    I'm so not going to watch The Expendables.

  6. The Monkey

    Very well said, and after watching The Elite squad, you can also watch this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8RVDHMb0DM&feature=related

    Even with my limited portuguese I was cracking up, very creative.

  7. Emanuela

    I agree with you 100%…he has zero idea what BOPE is… HEHEHE instead of expendables watch Elite Squad 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4pD5a6N-nk

  8. The Monkey

    OOhh hahaa haa ohoh haha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
    Sly still thinks hes rambo, I bet this movie is going to suck monkeys balls, not because of the comments he's made, but, have you seen the last rambo movie? A monkey would do it better, the movie is going to be a dvd profit based movie anyways, Brazilians should ignore such ignorant comments, or maybe just understand the guy can't tell jokes, hes rambo! people, he can only fire a fake gun, and use a fake knife, and f*** a fake wife.
    Now the comments about the police, He's got no idea that an ex BOPE member trains most of the SWAT teams here in the US, using the BOpE tacticts
    in which is most effective in civilian surroundings, and the skull Im sure is an psychological armor, like Americans have in some of their military apparel and helicopters and such.
    Now if I was in Brasil, I would fill a whole theater room with monkeys and play the Expendables, because Im sure the only thing you're gonna get from it, it's monkey business.

  9. Vincent Coelho

    Let's get to the point all Brazilians:
    BOYCOTT THE EXPENDABLES. Let him suffer on his skin the stupid words that come from his mouth. If we all Brazilians don't spend a penny to see his movie it will teach a lesson to anyone that come to our country use and abuse our hospitality and goes around trying to be funny “as nossas custas” . NAO ASSISTA OS MERCENARIOS. He will lose a lot of money and learn his lesson the hard way.

  10. Ken

    No one like a FAKE person, you come to my house i receive you with open arms, i let you destroy my house and when you are about to leave i even offer you a monkey to take back home with you, just to show how glad i was to have you as a guest. I didnt mind you messing my house up. But now I am fixing my house up putting everything in its place, and im not mad about because i let you mess it up. But then i turn on the tv and i see you back at your place laughing with your buddies and making jokes about how you went to my house just to take advantage and make fun of me for trying to be nice and give you a monkey.

    It kind of hurts.. if you ask me ill never invite you to my house again matter affect you better watch out when u enter my neighborhood the police with the skull and guns on their right shoulders will be waitn for you :) jk

  11. Amanda

    The fact here it´s not that rio is violent, or the difficults in control violence at brazil! The fact is that he offend brazilians people making ironies about their sympathy and hospitality with people!! A totally bizarre comment, that speaks a bizarre mind ! Poor Stallone, botox is affecting his brain !

  12. William Wattie

    Hi Marvin,

    I have lived and worked in Brazil for over fifteen years. I speak the language, and I have several business interests here. As someone who has personally struggled against ignorance, corruption and incompetence I think I am well placed to criticise.

    In the last 15 years I have watched other emerging markets leap ahead in terms of social and economic development. Other countries facilitate international business, and governments have shrunk to make way for private sector investment. This is not the case in Brazil. If you live here too, then you would know that. Friends in neighboring Rio have told me doing business there has become even harder in recent years, as payoffs and kick-backs have increased.

    I can just imagine the direct and indirect costs Stallone was up against when he when shooting his film in Rio. I am sorry, but it is not a serious city.

  13. Marvin

    “Good on Sylvester Stallone”? “Impartial international visitors” like Sylvester Stallone?

    Are you out of your mind?

    Stallone spends a couple of weeks making a movie in a rough Rio neighborhood and is thus able to tell the way things work or don't work in a huge and diverse country like Brazil? And he gets to make fun of them, too.

    That's what the braindead do. I can't understand what could be good about it, unless you're an idiocy aficionado.

    You probably don't know any Brazilians and just as likely you've never set foot in Brazil. (I lived there for two decades.) Else, you've been there but no one offered you a monkey and you still feel bitter about that.

    For if you had spent time in Brazil and got to know and talk to the locals, you'd know how critical Brazilians and the Brazilian media are of their government and institutions. Americans, the British, Australians (not sure where you're from) could learn a thing or two from them in that regard. You and others of your ilk would then discover that corruption is “endemic on all levels of government” just about everywhere you go. (I'm assuming your comment about private investments being “forced out” in Brazil is a joke.)

    And have you read about the “record low” crime rates in Rio in 2010? Not that the city doesn't remain violent, but if there's someone who needs to wake up and smell the coffee, that's you and your pal Stallone.
    Much like arrogance and ignorance, you guys belong together.

  14. William Wattie

    Good on Sylvester Stallone. He's no rocket scientist, and his comments were a little naive, but they were fully justified.

    Brazilians are overly defensive of their public sector institutions when they have no reason for being so. Violent crime in Rio is amongst the highest in the world and corruption is endemic at all levels of government, which forces out private investment.

    There is an unjustified optimism in Brazil at the moment which has totally clouded the nation's objective assessment of itself. There needs to be more comments from impartial international visitors like Mr Stallone to force the Brazilians to indulge in a little objective introspection.

    For a city that believes it can successfully host a World Cup in 2014 and an Olympics in 2016, it needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

  15. Victor

    It's true that Brazil is a very violent country and that people here idolize foreigners (the population is concerned abou it), but it was the monkey joke that caused it to be this massive confusion. Here in Brazil, monkey has whole different meaning. While he meant a pet monkey, the word in Portuguese, “macaco,” is used as a extremely racist word to describe black people (you can imagine why). So this is the reason why the people from my country were so pissed off. Brazil has a very rich black culture that not everyone respects and a strict “fight” against racism as well as severe laws against it. You can go to jail for racist comments here. If the word had the same meaning in the US, some people there would be angry too.

  16. barbie

    bgrazilians? what do they know? only… thank u… lol

  17. Marcelo Furlan

    I hate how people bend over backwards for idiots such as these when they visit Brazil. As a Brazilian myself, and one who is very proud of my Brazilian citizenship, I wish that the entire country of Brazil would boycott the movie The Expendables.

  18. elem

    SHUTUP
    And more respect.
    here is not your home.
    How do you go in people's homes and then turns speaking evil.
    His mother did not give you education Silvestre loser.
    Never go to Brazil.
    Next time go straight to the old home there is her true home.

  19. tom

    I watched The Simpsons episode about Brazil and i liked it, but the jokes and the humor were very different. As someone said, imagine if Brazilian celebrities as Gisele Bundchen and Rodrigo Santoro came back here making stupid comments about USA. Does Brazil have problems? Yes, a lot. Does Sylvester Stallone have something to do with these problems? No.
    After this, he'll think a bit more after coming back here.

    And about the “twitter campaign”, I think it´s ridiculous.

  20. BlahBlahBlah

    His comments were very hurtful because of the connotations his choice of words have. Perhaps the Brazilian people were a bit too quick to overreact. However, Sly was WELCOMED to film his movie there, the least amount of respect would be to not “poop” on his workplace. I'm sure anyone else would not have critized a country thus. Personally, I think he should have acted a bit more professionally and kept his thoughts of the country to himself. However, he probably knew that this would be a great publicity stunt, therefore, he does not feel guilty about it. I bet this incident is going to bring even more money in for the movie.

  21. Steve

    I think what is really making Brazilians upset most is the monkey comment, it's a lame stereotype that Brazil is all jungle & monkeys. Imagine a European celebrity making a comment about all Americans being fat and living in trailers.

    And on the rest of the comments, he makes it seem like all of Brazil, not just whatever unspecified area he went to, is this super dangerous “hardcore” place. He was way way too general.

  22. 123456

    Has anybody considered the fact that somebody may have offered / given Sly an actual monkey?

  23. Ludmila

    We brazilians seriously overreacted. Theres no need for all this campaign against SS because of an unfortunate comment. And it is true that, with a few more dollars on the final budget, authorities would have allowed the film crew to blow the Christ Redeemer. And all this slush that the BOPE has nothing to do with civil affairs… far as I know, the dealers are still civilians, or do they have founded a new country with its own army? I am Brazilian, and sometimes the blindness of my countrymen ashame me. But Sly is a public figure, an worldwide celebrity, I would think that by now he would have learned to keep his tongue inside his mouth. Imagine the opposite, imagine that Caetano Veloso and Rodrigo Santoro, brazilian celebrities with world renown, went to U.S., were exceptionally well received, and when they returned to Brazil, let loose in a large public event, coarse jokes about their stay in the country and the ignorance of Americans? I assure you that the reaction wouldn't be that great either.

  24. Kurt

    Well ,honestly if a guy make fun of a whole country to the world he is stupid our is just joking arrond ,but brazillian people shouldn't take that too serious , there is a lot of jokes of every contry every day ._.

  25. robotop

    The Dude: To dislike 190 million Brazilians because of this silly anti-SS campaign is pretty silly in itself.

    Tadeu: Any *person* who has brains won't see this movie…

  26. Tadeu

    Any Brazilian who has brains won't see this movie…

  27. The Dude

    I'm actually starting to dislike brasillians because of this.

  28. admin

    Everyone, please keep comments on topic…

  29. Giovanna

    Oh dear. I laughed so hard when I've read this. You people from United States say that we don't have any sense of humour, but you whine a lot more when we, or anyone criticize your country! And by the way, Stallone's movies are terrible. Or I'm just saying that because I dislike the U.S.
    Ha ha, freedom? You guys are controlled by the midia and fastfoods!

  30. Alex

    Even though his comments are very ignorant and disrespectful, it still does not change my desire to see the expendables movie; nor my feelings on my home country of Brasil.

  31. Gunfrontier

    The Brazilians have no humor or what?
    Some funny words of Stallone, and the Brazil become crazy !!!: it's ridiculous.
    You do not have some real problems to solve in your country?
    With this history not important, you are about to ridicule you in the world.

  32. brazil ftw

    Ok ok, you're telling that brazilian people don't have sense of humour, but if one famous person shame YOUR country, i'm pretty sure you won't like. Sylvester Stallone told that it was just a joke, but it was a really BAD joke, it wasn't funny. Just think about it.
    And Sly told about monkeys like here in Brazil we live only in forests, it isn't true.

    Sorry my bad english. .-.

  33. Stallone, you dumbass. Why insult the country you just filmed in and that was happy to have you?

  34. CC

    Security problems in Rio exist, people willing to do anything for a few bucks in Brazil-plenty, corruption-just about everywhere.

    He may not have lied, but he has just become part of the problem, rather than of the solution. If you have a constructive contribution/comment to improve situation instead of so hurtfully critising, hats off. Feeling the need to use a country who I am sure welcomed him and his crew, just to own a cheap jab at a festival for the sake of his own popularity is not quite understandable. What has he gained?

  35. Stallone thanks, here in Brazil is well explode and thank

  36. MiriamGMendes

    oopss…in my previous text, pls read “…and the first chanCe he has to come public abt it…”

  37. MiriamGMendes

    The guy goes to Brazil,with all that entourage, to shoot a film. There he is granted all sorts of 'permits', support, loggistics, etc. After shooting one more of his mediocre films, he goes back to the US, without payin' all the debts (crew people hired here complained abt that) he accumulated here…and the first change to come public abt it all, he's nothing but offensive, to say the least. His remarks abt the country are ridiculous, and he did it just for the hack of it!
    One thing is for sure, if that's the kind of PR he believes he needs to promote his movie, well, it was just a shot on his own foot! Brazil is one of the most valuable box offices markets for movies all over the world, and to smear it is not only a display of ignorance but of remarkable stupidity!
    Criticism is OK, but that was not his intention…he said he aimed at a funny remark!
    WELL, to be funny is definitely NOT his cup of tea, or his name would be SYLVESTER SEINFELD!
    So, once again, CALA BOCA SYLVESTER STALLONE! ;-)
    Miriam - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

  38. Misa

    sly never said anything about “blacks” or “African Americans” louis

    what the hell are you talking about?

  39. louis

    do you have problem with black people, Sly? cos if you do, it´s not just the brazilian people you call monkeys given the fact the brazilians don´t look too diferent like the african-american fellows you´re certainly (or you should be) thankful for helping you through your patetic carrer

  40. Norm

    Brazilians have no sense of humour. They get offended when an outsider (gringo) says anything bad about the country. Its like the episode about Rio on The Simpsons… they seriously overreacted… everyone gets the piss taken out of them on that show and it takes the Brazilians to be offended and overreact. The Rio tourist board threatened to sue the producers…
    Come on, to have a skull and guns and a knife on a police uniform (or any kind of police) is a bit weird, its funny. Everyone knows there aren´t monkeys everywhere… its a joke… they should just laugh it off, but having no sense of humour just attracts more outside attention and people are going to continue to make monkey jokes… its like landing in an Irish airport on top of empty beer bottles… its funny… The Irish laugh, everyone laughs.
    I used to live in Brazil and as far as I could see they were more concerned about their image outside of Brazil, rather than trying to actually deal with some of the major problems in the country.(and yes, every country has problems). The city council would use tax payers money to have a ´free´ concert on the beach and everyone is happy again… no-one fights for anything there… they complain but don´t do anything about it… It doesn´t matter if you like Stallone or not or think he´s a good actor/director or not… I´d say the only reason he apologized is for box office reasons. Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

  41. Marcello

    Shut up stallone!
    You´ve no brains. Just muscle.
    Brasilians, who liked you in the past, hope you never come back.

  42. Lolly

    Wish he would just come to Brazil again… Say that to OUR face, Stallone!
    I'm definatellly not paying to see that movie! Hoope all Brazilians follow the example. Let's see if we're worthless like he said…

  43. Jake

    Whoa. These Brazilians are a whiny bunch aren't they? You all are seriously over reacting. The world isn't out t get you. Learn to make fun of yourselves and enjoy it.

  44. Jackie

    wow i was wondering what all the fuss is about and this is it? seriously? Brazil is starting an anti-sly campaign over this? I don't even like him at all but it seems like Brazilians as a whole need to grow some thicker skin. What he said wasn't funny, nor was it offensive. Just a silly comment… wow Brazilians really know how to get their panties in a wad over nothing. It must be all that hot weather, makes Brazilians irritable.

  45. Tulio (rebelled Brazilian)

    SS, you want a monkey?looks in the mirror!
    First the Robbie Williams, now you SS?

  46. Andre

    The guy has thousands of fans in Brazil (there isn't a single person here that doesn't know Rambo or Rocky) and instead of criticizing the authorities about the problems he's seen during his stay in Brazil, he'd rather go with a stupid preconceived joke. Saying that it's OK to kill people in Brazil and they give you a monkey as a gift for that is like saying that everybody is obese and carry shotguns in USA and they will kill each other for a pizza or a hamburger. That was a very stupid and rude comment coming from a man that - at his age - should have learned to keep his mouth shut whenever he lacks the words to express his confused and BOTOX affected thoughts!

    I live in Rio and we have violence and poverty issues as well as many other countries around the world. This sort of comment only help people having a stereotyped opinion about a country with very friendly people and surrounded by natural beauty.

  47. John

    Hey “The Dude”, don`t get mad cos you suck on football. Oh, right, “foot”ball in the US is a game played with the hands! Hahahahaha You must definitely be republican, man, tell us the truth! hahahahaahah

  48. The Dude

    You guys are seriously overacting. If something like this offends you then the problem isn't in what Sly said - the problem is in you.

    So stop your whining and join a soccer team!

  49. Ana

    SS may just missed an opportunity to keep quiet. He is a famous and public person so he needs to watch what he says. Once said, there is no way to fix it. It is done deal. I have to agree his acting skills are very weak. I wonder if he did not have muscle, what he would be doing?

  50. Ana

    Champ,
    any Brazilian person can give up his Brazilian citizenship. Why don't you make yourself happier and give up your citizenship? That would be less shame for. And one less bad Brazilian in the world.

  51. I don't haven't been able to find the other “jokes” he made, but I don't think Stallone meant the joke about blowing stuff up as it sounds, I think he meant people took it as a great spectacle instead of a nuisance as it happens when movies filmed in other metropolitan areas and it's just a nightmare to get something done.

  52. Beatriz

    We all know our problems here in Brazil, but the whole world knows US problems as well. I bet everybody here welcomed Sylvester and his staff very well and that's how we are. We're warm and kind to ALMOST everyone who seems to be nice to us. But if he misjudged us thinking we're losers who let him do whatever he wants, we proved him wrong. He just showed he's one of those people who don't know anything about the things out of his little world: BOPE (the police he talked about), as someone has already explained, has nothing to do with civil issues. They're fighting against drug dealers and their uniform is just a symbol of power. It's strange, but it kind of works here. Drug dealers are very afraid of them and there's even a movie here called “TRopa de Elite” that brings this subject.

    What I think about all this? We overreacted a little bit, but that's cause people tend to come here to OUR country and have fun and when they come back to their home, start to say awful things about us and Brazil. That's not fair. Why the hell he came here? To blow things up here, as he said? No, there's no need for it. His country already does this job for him. His country is the one who's plenty of violence cause they practice it in other countries. We just have it here, as a social problem. Not a selfish and evil problem as Sylvester's perfect little land.

  53. Emanuela

    is he crazy? he doesnt know anything about BOPE…he should shut the f* up. he is a moron…ignorant.

  54. Champ

    I'm brazilian as well and I have no problem with it. I'm actually pissed at brazilian demagogues flooding twitter with these stupid messages. We're a screwed up contry and that's it! We have to admit it so we can evolve.

  55. Edy

    Why talk bad about Brazil?
    Why does not he talk about the environmental disaster in the U.S.? How many animals (not monkeys, of course) died? Why does not he talks about the American serial killers? Why did he not speak of young people by shooting other young people in schools and colleges in the U.S.? The intelligent American people should not pay for his unfortunate phrases. I like Americans and like all people. In Brazil we have problems yes. Which country has no problem? I love Brazil and I love the world. Formal apology to Brazil with his mouth and not with a note.

  56. Demetrius

    This might be the first time he visited Brazil. I hope he never came back. Stupid joke, he think that he is a good actor or person. He should look into his past and remember the whole thing he was involved that not make anyone proud of even the american people. Rambo gone a long time ago. Now is Rambotox..

  57. tom

    His joke is completely nonsense. I'm Brazilian and live in a city considered the most pacific city in South and Central America and for me, he si just trying to generalize an idea of the country. And about the “police” in Rio cited in the text, it is the Special Operations Battallion (called BOPE) that fights against the drug traffic and has nothing to do about the civillian issues. The image of the skull with knife and guns is just to demonstrate its power over the trafficants.