Was Justin Bieber’s monkey graffiti racist? The singer is currently in South America as part of his Believe world tour, but has been drawing controversy (literally) for tagging buildings and walls throughout South America with graffiti. However, his latest tagging is drawing accusations of racism from his Instagram followers. The Instagram photo from Brazil showed Bieber spray painting a monkey with a nose ring, earrings, a lip stud and necklace.
Bieber captioned the monkey photo by writing: “This is my escape.” The photo drew more 12,000 comments from followers, many of whom expressed their disapproval of the photo and accused him of being racist. “Someone needs to deck him, seriously,” one person wrote, as another noted that “he’s trying to be Chris Brown.” Another Twitter follower asked, “Does he think we’re all monkeys?”
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The singer is also facing potential arrest and jail time over a separate graffiti tagging in Rio de Janeiro. Police launched an investigation this week over the illegal activity; if convicted, vandalism in the form of defacing buildings is punishable by up to one year in jail in Brazil.
Police in Brazil reportedly went to a mansion Bieber was renting in order to question him about the graffiti vandalism, but he was gone by the time they arrived. Officials also inquired about reports from photographers who claimed they were attacked by members of Bieber’s entourage when they tried to take photos of the tagging, which included the line “Beliebers 4 life.”
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Sources close to the singer told TMZ that he was advised by locals to tag the buildings and assumed it was okay. But even if he is charged with a crime, it’s highly unlikely he will face jail time. However, the Daily Mail reported that “he could be arrested if he ever comes back to Brazil!”
But regardless of what happens to him as a result of his actions in Brazil, his bad behavior is only hurting his reputation. ” [He] ought to be more aware of how his actions impact others because failing to do so puts you and your career in potential risk,” said crisis communications expert Glenn Selig to Fox News. “Justin is clearly acting like someone who believes he can do no wrong and, at some point, he’s likely in for a rude awakening.”