Rapper Fedez accuses Italian broadcaster of censoring his scorching takedown of right-wing homophobes

Patrick Kelleher May 3, 2021
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Fedez Italy rapper

Fedez. (Marco Piraccini/Archivio Marco Piraccini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty)

Italian rapper Fedez has accused the country’s state broadcaster of trying to stop him calling out an anti-LGBT+ political party during a televised concert.

The rapper was one of the performers at a May Day concert broadcast on RAI 3 on Saturday evening (1 May), and he used the opportunity to accuse the right-wing League party of homophobia.

Taking to the stage, Fedez read out anti-LGBT+ comments made by League politicians and accused the party of stonewalling hate crime legislation.

“The management of RAI 3 asked me to omit the names and the parties. I had to fight a bit, a lot, but in the end they gave me the go-ahead to express myself freely,” Fedez said, according to Reuters.

After the concert, Fedez posted a clip of a phone call on Twitter in which an employee working on the televised concert can be heard asking him to back away from his comments about the League.

“I am asking you to adapt to a system that you probably don’t get,” the official can be heard saying.

Italian broadcaster denied trying to censor Fedez

RAI denied trying to censor Fedez’s comments about the League. In a statement, the broadcaster said the concert was organised by an external production company.

On Saturday, a group of League politicians urged RAI to withhold funding from the televised concert if Fedez used his slot to speak out against the right-wing party.

The League party has opposed hate crime legislation in Italy, which would make it a criminal offence to attack LGBT+ people, women and those with disabilities because of who they are.

The bill passed through Italy’s lower chamber in November 2020, but progress has since stalled. The Senate has failed to schedule a debate, meaning the legislation cannot move forward.

League politicians have justified the delay by claiming that Italy has more pressing issues than hate crime.

There was outcry within Italy’s LGBT+ community when the League party made significant gains in the 2018 general election, becoming the country’s third biggest party.

In 2018, the party’s leader Matteo Salvini called same-sex parents “unnatural” and said he was “firmly against” same-sex marriage.

More: Homophobia, Italy

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