Carolina Peña, 17, appeared on “Equador’s Got Talent,” which is more like American Idol than America’s Got Talent. After a performance, one judge asked her if she believed in god.
She told the truth - No.
“People don’t talk about this,” said Peña of atheism.
She was condemned heavily by that judge, followed by the others.
“My country went crazy. A lot of people supported me in my city. A lot of people supported me, more than I thought,” said Peña.
The judges received death threats. Peña feared for her life.
“I was very afraid just to go out into the streets. It’s very, it’s very dangerous in my country.”
Peña was at the mall eating the weekend the video of her went viral.
“This crazy person started following me and saying bad things about me, telling me I needed to believe in god.”
Months later, the situation has calmed down. Peña is casual about her fifteen minutes of fame.
“People forget about things,” she said.
She sees a change since her fiasco.
“A lot of youth stand up for themselves, like, ‘Yeah, I’m an atheist too.’”
On stage at the Reason Rally 2016, Penn Jillette suggested Pena was a “hero” to the cause. Peña response is more modest.
“They asked me a question and I responded.”