Home Europe Boos edited to applause for Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano spark Italy state broadcaster row

Boos edited to applause for Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano spark Italy state broadcaster row

by editor

The public broadcaster said RAI bought the show from an external partner and pledged to clarify the incident.


Italy’s Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano is at the centre of a new row involving state broadcaster RAI and its treatment of top government figures.

RAI’s now been accused of broadcasting an altered TV segment featuring the minister.

On 23 June, Sangiuliano attended the Taobuk literary festival on the Sicilian Island of Taormina.*

As he took the stage, Sangiuliano began addressing the crowd about the importance of protecting cultural roots from a “fluid society,” which provoked loud heckling.

But in the RAI broadcast on Wednesday, the boos were completely cut out and replaced by applause.

Videos began to emerge on social media on Thursday showing what happened on site, sparking fury and indignation among Italians. Some called the incident “unacceptable” and “illegal”, while others drew parallels with North Korean state TV.

The public’s reaction prompted an immediate response from the state broadcaster, who said they had nothing to do with the programme’s production.

The statement, posted by the Italian news site FanPage on Thursday, said the show was “realised and provided by the Taormina Book Festival Association, which took care of all production aspects without any involvement by RAI’s staff or means (of production).”

“In any case, RAI will ask for clarifications to completely clear up what happened”.

RAI had already suffered criticism in the past for allegedly failing to cover Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government in a balanced and objective journalistic fashion.

Back in May, RAI journalists came out to strike against the broadcaster’s alleged biased coverage, denouncing politicians’ “asphyxiating control over the news” in an attempt to turn RAI into the government’s “megaphone”.

Minister Sangiuliano has also been under fire after committing several blunders since he became minister.

Notably, Sangiuliano admitted he cast his vote for Italy’s most important book prize, “Premio Strega”, without having read any of the books in the competition, including the one he voted for.

Most recently, he stated that Christopher Columbus discovered America based on Galileo’s theories, when Columbus actually died over 50 years before Galileo was born.

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