The Scoop

Italy: 2014 Entrant, Emma Marrone, Becomes the Butt of Controversial Prank

The Italian entrant into the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 was pranked on Italian TV show Amici di Maria de Filippi. However, the prank has had a negative reaction from many viewers, who say that the prank is making a joke of sexual harassment.

What was the prank?

The prank involved Emma Marrone performing a song, whilst one of the dancers became too enthusiastic in his dancing. The dancer then begins to grope and kiss Emma as she performs.
Emma is clearly very uncomfortable with what is happening. She repeatedly tells the performer to calm down, and says “A bit less…” several times, but the prank carries on. Emma eventually stops the performance and tells one of the stage crew that “I don’t want that pervert up there with me”. She says to one of the other guests on the show “I don’t think that this is how the choreography is supposed to be.”
When the dancer tries to apologise, Emma is clearly annoyed and squeezes the dancer’s backside, whilst saying “This is not dancing!”. However, once the performance continues, the dancer does not relent. At one point, Emma throws the dancer away from her and pushes him over, shouting “You’re insane!”, before one of the stage crew intervene and pull the man away.
But this isn’t the end of the prank, as the dancer then launches towards Emma. Emma’s bodyguards stop the dancer, whilst Emma comments that “This is disgusting” and shouts “Cretin!” at the dancer, as he is removed from the stage. As the dancer is removed, he yells abuse at Emma, who chases after him, shouting “Here I am, I’ve come to you, what are you going to do now?”
See a brief clip of the prank below.

Public reaction

Whilst the audience, presenters, and even Marrone herself can be seen later laughing at the prank, the prank has sparked outrage from the public. Comments include:

“The laughter in the audience is complicit and pathetic. Too bad that even the woman directly affected isn’t aware of the gravity of what she has experienced.”

“Sexual violence isn’t funny. This is violence, this supports rape culture.”

Advocates of women’s right have said that the show set up the assault to entertain the audience at Marrone’s expense.

A petition was set up by campaigners calling for new guidelines for the media to deal with sexual violence. At the time of writing, the petition has almost 18,000 signatures.

What do you think of the prank? Is it just harmless fun? Or did Italian TV go too far? Get involved in the comments below!

Luke Malam

I've watched Eurovision for as long as I can remember, but my interest really built in 2008, after I decided to watch the semifinals online, out of boredom, before the final...I was blown away by the quality of the show and have been hooked ever since! I'm a competitive trampolinist and I love baking. I've also just completed a master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London.

Comments on Italy: 2014 Entrant, Emma Marrone, Becomes the Butt of Controversial Prank

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