Oh, to be a fly on the wall yesterday at the Morosani Hotel in Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum is currently taking place through Jan. 25. That’s where what must have been the most awkward of upscale dinners took place, as openly gay Apple CEO Tim Cook shared a table with one of the world’s most pronounced homophobes, Brazil’s new far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. The Davos dinner was reportedly in honor of the Brazilian leader.
Every year the world’s elite — business leaders, politicians and the like — attend the World Economic Forum. At this particular dinner, seated together at the same table were Bolsonaro, Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, among others.
Following the Davos dinner, Bolsonaro spoke of the dinner on Twitter, saying (translated from Portuguese), “We have just attended dinner with great business leaders and heads of state at the invitation of the president of the World Economic Forum, Professor Schwab. A tremendous satisfaction sharing this moment and sharing experiences.”
Há pouco participamos de jantar com grandes líderes empresariais e chefes de estado a convite do Presidente do Fórum Econômico Mundial, Professor Schwab. Uma enorme satisfação partilhar este momento e dividir experiências!
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) January 22, 2019
We’re willing to bet Cook doesn’t have quite as many nice things to say about making Bolsonaro’s acquaintance.
In 2014, Tim Cook made headlines when he came out of the closet following his taking over from predecessor Steve Jobs. Cook was the first openly gay CEO of a major corporation. Back in October 2018, Cook even referred to being gay as “God’s greatest gift to me.”
So it’s interesting that Cook would be seated at the very same table as Bolsonaro, a man who is no ally to LGBTQ rights.
Bolsonaro, who took office as Brazil’s new president on Jan. 1, 2019, is a self-identified bigot, having ascended to the presidency despite homophobic, misogynistic and racist comments. Among his numerous anti-gay quotes, these three sum Bolsonaro up nicely: (1) “I will not fight nor discriminate, but if I see two men kissing in the street, I’ll hit them.” (2) “I would be incapable of loving a homosexual child. I’m not going to act like a hypocrite here: I’d rather have my son die in a car accident than show up with some moustachioed guy. For me, he would have died.” (3) “[Homosexuals] will not find peace. And I have [congressional] immunity to say that I’m homophobic, yes, and very proud of it if it is to defend children in schools.” Continue your exploration of disgusting things said by Bolsonaro here.
It looks like we’ll have to wait and see whether anything of note emerged from the awkward Davos dinner shared between Tim Cook and Jair Bolsonaro. Frankly, we would have loved to see Cook refuse to attend an event in honor of a homophobic, authoritarian wanna-be who’s sure to only bring havoc to his country’s local LGBTQ community.