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Italy, and all of Europe, awoke Monday to a new political reality after far-right politician Giorgia Meloni claimed victory in Italy’s snap elections. With nearly all the results in, Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, a group with neofascist origins, secured the biggest share of votes.
Her far-right coalition, which includes the League, headed by Matteo Salvini, and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, have a clear majority and should be able to form a new government. Such a coalition of nationalist and far-right parties would represent Italy’s most right-wing government since the end of Benito Mussolini’s reign in 1945. Meloni has made a name for herself with starkly conservative stances, on abortion, immigration and LGBTQ+ rights.
Given the seismic political shift, it was perhaps surprising to see few voices among Italy’s traditionally leftist entertainment industry raised in protest. Only a handful of the country’s prominent actors, directors and musicians have taken to social media to publicly express their thoughts on the election.
Many of the most Italy’s most politically active cultural and film industry figures are not active on social media, but the silence, especially after the intense and divisive election campaign of the last few weeks, is significant.
One who did speak out was Francesca Michielin, singer and host of the Italian edition of X-Factor, who tweeted bluntly: “Our resistance begins today”.
On Instagram, Damiano, frontman for Eurovision Song Contest winners Maneskin posted: “Today is a sad day for my country, linking to news of the election on the center-left newspaper La Repubblica.
“I didn’t vote for you,” noted actor and director Filippo Timi, who appeared alongside George Clooney in 2010 feature The American.
In a reference to Brothers of Italy’s fascist links, Perfect Strangers actress Kasia Smutniak wrote: in October we’re setting time back one hour, today we went back to a hundred years ago.
Others indulged in dark humor.
“I’m not sure if I should change my outfit or change my country,” quipped comedian and TV host Luciana Littizzetto.
While The Great Beauty actress Sabrina Ferilli joked: “[at least the] Trains will be on time now,” a reference to the common myth that when Mussolini was in charge, the trains were never late.
Pietro Turano, an actor and LGBTQ+ activist, however, had no time for jokes. In a long statement on Instagram, he called out “The shortsightedness of politics [which] has surrendered parliament into the hands of the most conservative factions, even though the country has actually voted in favor of progressive parties.”
In place of words, director Paolo Virzì, whose new movie Siccità premiered at the Venice Film Festival and is currently in theaters, shared a comic strip about Meloni.
Actor Alessandro Gassman (Transporter 2, The Dinner) took a more conciliatory approach, tweeting: “That’s how democracy works. Good luck to the ones that now have to lead this country.”
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