Carolina Peña, 16, is a contestant on Ecuador's Got Talent. The most recent episode showed her performing a song in an audition for the judges.
After her performance, actress Maria Fernanda Rios, a judge on the show, asked Peña, "Do you believe in God?"
Peña replied, "No."
The actress then told Peña that she will never be successful without God.
The next judge, actress and singer, Paola Farias, continued the debate, asking Peña, "Why don't you believe in God? I'm curious." When Peña stated she simply doesn't, Farias asked her, "Then where do we come from?"
Third judge, singer Wendy Vera, then tells the girl that all some people have is the love of God.
Even the girl's father, stood backstage, said that he hopes his daughter will learn and change her beliefs.
However, the final judge, actor Fernando Villarroel, refused to join in the discussion, saying, "I believe that religion or belief is one thing and artistic talent it is another thing."
The other judges quickly clarified that they were not discriminating, but simply providing advice to a young woman.
Online users have hit back at the judges' questioning. The Association of Ecuadorian Atheists have requested a review of the show's content.
YouTube commenters have also expressed their disappointment of the judges' interrogation of the young girl.
If the show is called Ecuador's Got Talent, then look at that, the talent. It's very disappointing that you are judging her for irrelevant stuff in this competition, like her religion. I am sure that this is being done to obtain fame, but they are nobody to give lessons about religion, this very universal and sensitive topic. Those comments are denigrating the participant in front of Ecuador.
This is truly an attack that should be reported and publicly punished. Freedom of religion and the absence of religion should be respected.
How stupid. They are still living in the middle ages.
...Saying this poor girl that she lost. So incompetent. I wish I would've been there to ridicule them. At the end, it was only necessary to answer this way, "the question is not why I don't personally believe, the question is why you guys believe is stuff made up by men?
The only thing missing here is them burning the girl for being a witch.