Jewish ‘Big Brother Brazil’ host hit with antisemitic abuse after defending the reality show

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jewish ‘Big Brother Brazil’ host hit with antisemitic abuse after defending the reality show

Tiago Leifert targeted with hate after getting in a spat with a popular soap opera star

Tiago Leifert seen in a video he recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dec. 27, 2021. (Tiago Leifert/Instagram)
Tiago Leifert seen in a video he recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dec. 27, 2021. (Tiago Leifert/Instagram)

The former host of “Big Brother Brazil” has been hit with a wave of antisemitism after getting into an online argument about the reality show with a popular soap opera actor.

After the actor Icaro Silva criticised the show, calling it “mediocre entertainment,” Tiago Leifert, who is Jewish and hosted the show from 2017 to earlier this year, clapped back. He said that Silva, who is Black, was being hypocritical because he has worked with the network that airs “Big Brother Brazil.”

“Not only did we not harm you in any way, we probably paid your salary,” wrote Leifert, whose father Gilberto is a senior executive at Globo, the media giant that in 2002 launched “Big Brother Brazil.”

In response, Leifert was hit with several antisemitic tweets.

One that went viral read: “About the controversy with Tiego Leifert. He’s a Jew, aye? (Sorry, cool Jews I know, this is not about you.)” The user who posted the tweet, @kausilvaviolin, deleted the message and her entire account after some began calling for the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where some Twitter users said she studies, to punish her.

Another read: “Leifert acting like a good Jew. Man, how I’m revolted by this filthy race,” the Folha de Sao Paulo reported.

Leifert protested the abuse in a video he posted on Instagram on Monday.

“I have been attacked for my religion, because of my family. I have not engaged in such attacks on any party at any given time,” he said.

CONIB, the umbrella group of Brazilian Jewish communities and  organisations, in a statement expressed “solidarity” with Leifert and said it is looking into taking legal action.

“Racism is an evil that left to spread causes suffering to its victims and provokes injustices and conflicts,” CONIB wrote.

Like the other versions of the show that air in dozens of other countries, “Big Brother Brazil” films a series of housemates who live in a secluded set, without internet or television.



Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: