Osvaldo Freixinho, a judge from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ordered the Brazilian version of Playboy magazine to recall its August issue which contained a photograph of actress Carol Castro, semi-nude and posing with a rosary. The recall was requested by the Rio-based Pela Vida Catholic youth institute and a priest from Goiás identified as Lodi.
Ricardo Brajterman, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said that the photograph "hurt the feelings of believers". According to Brajterman, the decision also ordered the magazine to refrain from using religious elements in future articles that include nudes. In February, Brajterman also obtained a court order prohibiting a parade float with allegorical references to the Holocaust from entering Rio's Carnaval.
The magazine continues being sold freely in Brazilian news stands three days after the court decision. The erotic essay is one of the most daring by the Brazilian version of the publication ever, including rare shots of frontal nudity.
Playboy Brazil says it has not yet been notified of Freixinho's ruling. If the magazine fails to follow the judge's order after being notified, it could be ordered to pay as much as 1,000 reais (US$ 617) per day in
Castro is a novela (soap opera) star of Globo network, Brazil's audience leader TV. Edson Aran, editor of Playboy Brazil called the polemic "a tempest on a teacup."
Talking to Dia FM, a Rio radio station, the actress called herself a good catholic and denied that she had any intention to shock, stir a scandal or challenge de Catholic church. She called the pictures artistic and in good taste. As for the rosary, she explained, it was just an allusion to a character in Dona Flor and Her Two Husband by Jorge Amado whom she is playing on the stage right now.
A spokesperson for the São Paulo archdiocese, Juarez de Castro, however, disagreed. For him, the picture is a flagrant disrespect "not only to the Catholic church, but also to the people's faith. It's fashionable to say that these pictures are a photo essay, but in truth they are not more than vulgar eroticism."