US Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt has scrapped a plan to visit Brazil to promote his new film "World War Z," the movie's distributors said, citing unrest in the country.

A statement issued by Paramount said Pitt would not make a planned trip to Rio because of "ongoing events in Brazil."

The country is awash with protests after more than a million people took to the streets in recent days to decry poor public services and corruption as well as transport fare hikes.

Pitt and director Marc Foster were to have attended a pre-release screening of the film in Rio on Monday.

The statement said Paramount expressed solidarity with the Brazilian people at a time of crisis.

Protests began last week in Sao Paulo and Rio over planned rises in public transport fares but have since mushroomed, with citizens taking to the streets in more than 100 cities to vent their frustration over poor living standards and with the political elite.

They are also angry that the government is spending some $15 billion on hosting the Confederations Cup and the World Cup next year, with the 2016 Rio Olympics to follow.

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