Italian rapper accuses state television of attempted censorship


Italian rapper Fedez has received a wave of public support after he publicized attempts by state television RAI to censor his planned remarks calling attention to homophobia at a Workers’ Day concert.

MILAN – Italian rapper Fedez received a wave of public support on Sunday after he publicized attempts by state television RAI to censor his planned remarks on homophobia at an annual Workers’ Day concert.

Fedez prevailed and made the statement as scheduled at the Saturday night concert, claiming it was the first time he had been asked to submit his remarks in advance.

He then read homophobic statements from members of the right-wing Italian League party. The rapper’s remarks were made in support of legislation aimed at punishing discrimination and hate crimes against gay and transgender people, but which is blocked in parliament by the right-wing opposition.

After RAI denied pressuring the rapper, Fedez released a recording of a phone call with a RAI executive and colleagues in which he was told his remarks would be “inappropriate” and discouraged him. politicians he was citing.

The head of the state-run RAI has promised to investigate.

Among those supporting Fedez were two former prime ministers, Enrico Letta, now leader of the Democratic Party, and Giuseppe Conte, who has been appointed head of the 5 Star Movement. Letta asked RAI to apologize to the rapper.

Gay rights groups generally welcomed Fedez’s comments. Arcigay President Gabriele Piazzoni said he “gave voice to millions of us”, while Partito Gay (Gay Party) spokesman Fabrizio Marrazzo said the Phone call with the RAI leadership was “baffling” and called for RAI monitoring. advice to intervene.

Equality Italia president Aurelio Mancuso has been more cautious, warning that polarization could still block the bill, “which must be approved in the Senate, not on Fedez’s Instagram page.”

League leader Matteo Salvini, meanwhile, launched an offensive, reiterating his reasons for opposing the legislation in television appearances and social media posts and offering to debate the issue at the television with Fedez.

Still, Salvini distanced himself from the remarks of members of the League, calling them “disgusting”.

The so-called Zan Law, named after Democratic Party lawmaker and gay rights activist Alessandro Zan, would add women as well as gay, transgender and disabled people to the categories of people already protected under a law prohibiting discrimination and punishing hate crimes. .

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