Over the weekend, the rapper got the support of fashion designers and the general public after having ignited the country’s political scene with a speech given during the traditional televised concert held to celebrate Labour Day on May 1.
It took him roughly five minutes to spark the debate — and shake many consciences, too — as he centered the speech on condemning homophobia and supporting the “DDL Zan,” a bill against homotransphobia, which extends passages of the penal code that already punishes discrimination and violence based on racial, ethical and religious beliefs to sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to disability. Approved by the Chamber, the bill’s passage by the Senate has been repeatedly delayed for months.
In his speech, Fedez accused the Lega Nord right-wing party — helmed by Matteo Salvini — for this obstruction, specifically pointing his finger to the president of the Justice Commission, Andrea Ostellari.
He additionally listed controversial — and despicable — quotes by representatives of the party, mentioning their names as well.
He chastised Ostellari for listing other priorities during the pandemic compared to the “DDL Zan,” including regulations about labeling of wine or the reorganization of the Italian National Olympic Committee CONI.
On top of all these remarks, Fedez revealed that national broadcaster Rai had requested him to submit his text for examination, allegedly asking him to avoid naming specific individuals and parties and “to sweeten the content” of his speech.
“I had to fight a little bit — a lot actually — but at the end I have been given the permission to express myself freely. Thank you,” he said with a smirk. “I take full responsibility of all the things I say and do, but know that the content of this speech has been defined by the vice director of Rai 3 as inappropriate.”
After the speech, the discussion moved onto social media, which was flooded with accounts applauding Fedez and reposting the video. These included Ferragni herself, who showed support for her husband by sharing the speech with her 23.4 million followers. In the meantime, Rai was quick in denying any censorship attempt, accusing the singer of lying.
But Fedez served the final coup de théâtre, posting a video on Twitter in which he recorded himself on the phone with the Rai executives on speakerphone and in which “vice director of Rai 3 Ilaria Capitani and her collaborators are urging me to ‘adapt to a system’ by telling that I can’t make names on stage,” read the tweet.
In particular, the footage shows a visibly infuriated Fedez asking executives to explain “what is this system” and the reason why he can’t name names if the facts he mentions are true, to which an executive responded that the quotes could have been expressed out of context. “So you’re telling me these things in a different context assume a different meaning?” asked Fedez.
In the following hours, Rai said the snippets of the video don’t show the full picture and released a version of the conversation. In the meantime, support of Fedez continued to pour from politicians — including former prime minister Giuseppe Conte — plenty of local music stars as well as fashion designers.
Under the post with the speech that Fedez shared with his 12.4 million followers (around 200,000 of whom came in the last two days), Donatella Versace commented “GRANDE FEDEZ!!!!! Sei tutti noi!!!!” which translates as “You are great. You’re all of us,” in English.
Piccioli commented on the episode more extensively on his personal account via two Instagram stories with the aforementioned video. In the first one, he simply wrote “Bravo @fedez,” while in the second he shared a lengthy message in Italian.
“Progress needs courage, conscience and freedom of expression. Without the strength of those who [stand up for] it, without the stubbornness that can be mistaken for naivety, nothing solid can be built,” wrote Piccioli. “This is the era in which consciences must be shaken to get rid of the torpor of conformism and in which we must fight incessantly, each in their own way, for everything that makes us more human, civil and open. We create the future, but our children will live there. Bravo @fedez for your words and for your courage.”
Versace, Piccioli and Giorgetti previously showed their support of DDL Zan, posting pictures spelling the name of the bill on their hands last month.
At the time, Versace flanked her picture with a message reading “It’s time to choose respect over discrimination. Love over hate. Inclusion instead of exclusion.”
Piccioli borrowed the words of Italian film director and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini through a quote reading “The truth lies not in one dream but in many dreams.”
In his caption, Giorgetti wrote “I don’t know where but together…against any form of discrimination” with a rainbow emoticon.
The posts supported a campaign launched by the Italian edition of Vanity Fair under the #diamociunamano hashtag, inviting people to lend a hand to one another and grasp “a fundamental opportunity for Italy to educate respect and freedom and to finally become a civil country,” as the magazine’s account stated.
But in his speech on Labour Day, Fedez also urged the government, addressing Prime Minister Mario Draghi directly, to help the music and entertainment industry with “at least some remarks, a project, a reform to defend a sector that has been decimated by this emergency.”
To wit, the singer last year launched a dedicated initiative, uniting leading names in the local music scene and collecting their personal donations to establish a fund in aid of music operators and their families.