Tuesday, November 30th, 2021
Great outrage in Italy
Fan grabs a reporter while switching live
FC Empoli surprisingly beats Fiorentina. Why the Italian soccer game is now in the spotlight has nothing to do with sport. Rather, it’s a fan who grabs a journalist – and only makes it worse with his excuse.
Sexual harassment in front of a TV camera is causing outrage in Italy. After the Serie A game between FC Empoli and Fiorentina, journalist Greta Beccaglia was groped by a man on the bottom during her live broadcast in front of the Empoli stadium. The incident highlighted the treatment of women – just at the weekend when players, coaches and referees with red on their faces wanted to draw attention to violence against women on Italian football fields and on social media.
The reporter filed a complaint against the man on Monday evening, who was identified thanks to the TV recordings and surveillance cameras. “Unfortunately we know that women suffer such attacks again and again, and they are not recorded by cameras,” Beccaglia told the Ansa news agency. “That mustn’t happen.”
The film shows how the man approaches the journalist from behind as he leaves the stadium, spits in his hand – or at least implies that – then grabs the woman’s butt and walks on. “You mustn’t do that!” The reporter called after the man after a brief moment of shock. Beccaglia’s broadcaster Toscana TV announced that this wasn’t the only incident. The reporter was approached by other men moments later.
Justification “makes things worse”
When a radio station reached out to the alleged perpetrator on Monday evening and interviewed him, he said that he had made a mistake, that he was sorry and that it was actually intended as a joke. He was frustrated because of his 2-1 defeat by his Fiorentina, he didn’t talk to anyone and just wanted to go to his car. “To portray such a bad harassment as a joke means that he did not understand what happened here,” said Beccaglia. “That is an impossible comment and it makes things worse.”
The reporter said she had received countless messages and had a great deal of solidarity in the hours and days after the incident. Political parties, journalists’ associations and clubs strongly condemned the case. The studio moderator of the soccer show also came under heavy criticism: he initially dismissed the act in the live broadcast with the comment “Don’t get up”.
He told the Adnkronos news agency that he wanted to support his colleague so that she would not get involved in the provocation and worse would happen. “I didn’t mean to play down the incident.” Nevertheless, the broadcaster announced that the moderator would no longer be used for the time being. Based on the comment, the former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wrote on Twitter: “We should make it clear that” we must all get upset “.”