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Outrage in Italy After Female Correspondent Sexually Harassed During Live Broadcast

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camera - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.11.2021
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According to local media, reporter Greta Beccaglia has filed charges against the perpetrator, whom police have identified as a 45-year-old man from the city of Ancona. The correspondent’s employer, Toscana TV, said it would pay any associated legal costs.
A female Italian correspondent has been sexually harassed during a live broadcast. The incident occurred on 27 November, while Greta Beccaglia was reporting from the Carlo Castellani Stadium in Empoli, where a local team played against Fiorentina in Serie A.

One of the fans leaving the stadium approached the correspondent from behind, spat on his palm and slapped the young woman on the rear. The visibly shocked reporter told the man: "Sorry, you can’t do this". According to Italian media, a second man tried to slap the young woman on the backside, but the camera man prevented him from doing so. Yet another football fan approached the correspondent and began swearing into the camera before showing a middle finger.

WARNING: This video contains strong language.

Ms Beccaglia’s co-host, Giorgio Micheletti, who was in the studio as the incident unfolded, didn’t condemn the actions of the men, telling the reporter not to be "angry" or "upset". The behaviour of the football fans as well as that of Ms Beccaglia’s co-host caused outrage in Italy, with people taking to social media to express their anger and frustration.

Tweet: "What happened to the journalist #GretaBeccaglia is absolutely terrible. An episode of physical and verbal violence that perfectly portrays the heteropatriarchal reality that still permeates our society. All our solidarity goes to her".



Tweet: "She is #GretaBeccaglia. On Saturday evening she was sent for a broadcast for Empoli vs Fiorentina in Serie A! Outside the stadium an idiot allowed himself to touch her from behind! This is simply unacceptable! Respect Women, Always!"



Many netizens were livid at the comments made by the reporter’s co-host.
Tweet: "Yesterday, a female broadcast journalist, #GretaBeccaglia , was groped while attempting to interview fans after the Empoli-Fiorentina game — her male counterpart in the studio told her while live, 'don't let it bother you'. The same refrain we've heard our whole lives. Enough".

Tweet: "A man gropes a woman on live TV and another man tells her not to get angry. Italy, 2021, sexism explained perfectly. You suck, both of you".

Tweet: "Giorgio Micheletti, in case you were (rightly) fired, please: don't get angry".



The Order of Journalists of Tuscany has denounced the incident as a "very serious episode of harassment" and criticised the reaction of Ms Beccaglia’s co-host.

"Those in the studio, instead of condemning the gesture and the molester, invited the colleague to ‘not bother’. No words of solidarity were heard. The Order reiterates that the time has come stop downplaying the issue of sexual harassment and remember that violence against women is above all a cultural and social problem", the organisation said.

Local human rights organisations said the timing of the incident is particularly disturbing as it occurred on the day Italian authorities held a campaign to raise awareness among football fans about sexual harassment and violence against women. Football players during the match had red marks on their cheeks, which referred to the campaign’s slogan "give violence against women a red card".
The campaign itself was organised two days after women in Italy demonstrated during the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Similar rallies were held in other major European cities.

According to Italian media, police have identified the perpetrator, who is a 45-year-old man from the city of Ancona. Greta Beccaglia has filed charges against him. The man reportedly issued a public apology and asked the young woman to withdraw the charges.
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