Italy 🇮🇹 is a Southern European country whose majority religion is Christianity. It is a parliamentary democracy and a member of the European Union.
Censorship was pervasive during the Fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini (1922-1945).
During the Unification of Italy
After the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), an incisive control on the press by the monarchies was enacted in Italy. In the various states' capitals and in the most important urban centres, usually only an official sheet from the monarchy was released, generally named Gazzetta (Gazette), to publish the laws and attentiously selected news. Beside this, there were however litterary and cultural journals, where new ideas could be expressed. In 1816,, by initiative of the Austrlans, a monthly named Biblioteca Italiana was established in Milan, where over 400 among scholars and litterate people of all Italy were invited (not always successfully). To this magazine, Il Conciliatore, a statistic-litterary journal closer to the Madame de Staël's romantic ideals, which was released until its closure in 1819, acted as a counter.
During the Kingdom of Italy
The first law to introduce a real censorship intervetion is the law on film screening dated 1913. Under said law, it was forbidden to stage obscene, lurid or contrary to decency, decorum, public order, prestige of the institutions and authorities. A later law, enacted in 1914, listed a series of prohibitions and transferred the intervention power from the local public security authorities to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1920, a commission with the task of viewing in advance the scripts, among other things, was established under a Royal Decree.
During Fascist era
During Fascism, censorship influenced heavily the life of Italians during the regime. Is main goals were:
- Controlling the public appearance of the regime, even to the extent of deleting anything that could allow opposition , or any doubt about fascism.
- Checking constantly the public opinion as measure of consensus.
- Creating national and local archives (schedatura) where each citizen was filed and classified according to their ideas, habits, rleationship and any shameful acts of situations arisen; in this way, censorship was used to create a police state.
- Any ideological and defeatist content, as well any other work or content that would not enforce nationalist fascism was banned.
The fascist censorship fought against any ideolgical content in contrast to fascism or harmful to the nation's prestige.
Censorship in the media sector was enacted by the Ministry of Popular Culture (Min.Cul.Pop), which had the control on every content that could appear in journals, radio, literature, theatre, cinema, and, generally, every other form of comunication and arts.
Since the Post-war
On 18 June 1946, freedom of press in Italy was restored after the fall of fascism on 25 July 1943. During the entire World War II and in the immediate post-war, it was under various limits and condiitons, in part derived from the legistlation which regulated freedom of press in the Kingdom of Italy. In the zones under the control of the Italian Social Republic, freedom of press did not exist, except in the a fascist rebellion to a certain degree.
With the liberation of Rome by the Anglo-American troops in 1944, a series of political turmoils which were buried under the ashes imposed by the fascist censorship exploded, and every politic ideal among the Resistance patriots was expressed in the form of journals printed in mimeographed sheets which were either distrubuted or handed in the cities and the countryside. The Italian Constitution was drafted in 1947 and it is the result of a dialectic opening between the right-wing and the left-wing.
The Article 21 of the Italian Constitution is on the Part I which regulates the Rights and Duties of the Citizens, in the Title I under the entry "Civil Relations".
|«Anyone has the right to freely manifest his own thought with the word, the writ and other communication means.
The press cannot be subjected to authorisations or censorship.
Seizing can be conducted only for an act motivated by the judiciary authority in case of crimes, for which the law on the press, for which the law on the press authorises it, or in case of violation of the norms that the law itself precribes the indication of the responsibles.
In said cases, when absolutely needed and would not be possible the tempestive intervention from the judiciary authority, the seizing of the periodical press can be done by judiciary police officers, who must immediately, and never more than 24 hours, denounce to the judiciary authority. If the latter do not convalidates it in the later 24 hours, the seizing is revoked and without any effect.
The law can establish, with general norms, that the means of financing of periodical press are made known.
Press publications, spectacleas and every other manifestation against public morality is forbidden. The law establishes appropriate provisions to prevent and repress violations.»
|(Constitution of the Italian Republic, Article 21)|
A law reservation and a jurisdiction reservation can be recognised:
- Law reservation: the matter is of total competence of the Parliament; the government cannot intervene.
- Jurisdiction reservation: only a judge can seize and/or close a headline. The judge must indicate taxatively which law was violated. The norm has to warrant that there is no political motivation behind the seizing of a press medium.
In 1930, the distribution of books with contents of Marxist ideology was forbidden. These books were segregated in special sections of public libraries, closed to the public. To have access to these books it was necessary to get a governative permission, which was bestowed behind the written presentation of clear scientific or cultural purposes. Large bonfires of books happened since 1938: works containing themes about Jewish culture, freemasonry, Communist ideology were removed from the hidden shelves of libraries and bookstores. To avoid seizings and the consequences of the inspections carried out by the OVRA (the fascist police), many librarians hid the offending works and in many cases, these were found at the end of the war.
- Under the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, the children's novel The Story of Ferdinand was banned because the story of a bull who doesn't want to partake in bullfighting was considered to be pacifist/communist brainwashing.
- All Quiet on the Western Front - banned during the Fascist regime due to its antimilitarism.
- Farewell to Arms - banned in Fascist Italy for depicting the Italian Army's defeat at the Battle of Caporetto.
- Ludwig Kakumei - this shojo manga had its first chapter, "Snow White", edited by cutting two panels and had several dialogues of four pages altered to hide Blanche's incestuous relation with her father, the King, to spite of the queen, the young woman's stepmother.
- On 22 January 2021, the Italian Data Protection Authority has ordered to blocking TikTokkers whose age is not established, this was ordered when a 10 year-old Sicilian girl had choked to her death on a belt around the neck. The block is set to remain in place until 15 February, when it will be re-evaluated.
- Since 2012, access to Stormfront has been blocked.
In Italy, the rating of films screened in the theatres is regulated by the Law Decree no. 203 of 7 December 2017. The distributors have to rate the film according to the age of the audience. The decision is later verified by the Ministry of Culture's Commission for the Rating of Cinematographic Works, made up of 49 selected members between professionals in the sector, educators and pedagogy experts, barristers and representats of associations for animal welfare. The Commission cannot prevent the theatric release of a film, neither impose cuts. The films are rated into one of the four categories:
- T (film per tutti): no age restriction.
- 6+ (sconsigliato ai minori di anni 6): not suitable for children under 6.
- 14+ (vietato ai minori di 14 anni): released to ages 14 and older; children who are at least 12 may be admitted with adult accompaniment.
- 18+ (vietato ai minori di 18 anni): released to ages 18 and older; children who are at least 16 may be admitted with adult accompaniment.
The classification only applies to commercial releases in theaters, and the law does not require classification of home media. Before 2021, films aimed to be shown in theatres were classified for all ages (T) or prohibited for children under 14 or 18 by the Commission for Film Review. The Commission could also ask for some scenes to be cut or ban the distribution of the film.
Instances of movie censorship
During the fascist regime in Italy, only 17 of all the films produced in the Soviet Union were distributed.
- Westfront - this war film representing the despair of the German troops during the last months of World War I was censored during the fascist regime. It would be not distributed in Italy until 1962.
- All Quiet on the Western Front - this film, like the novel on which it was based, was also banned by Benito Mussolini's government due to its anti-war message. The film later would be dubbed in Italian in 1950 by Universal and then distributed on March 1955, one year after its screening approval in November.
- Street Scene - this pre-Code drama film was censored during the fascist government.
- Mountains on Fire - this war film was censored until its distribution in 1951.
- The Public Enemy - this crime film was blocked by the censorship until 1963 due to being offensive towards Italy (the characters "Rico" Bandello was Italian-American)
- Little Caesar - this drama film was released in Italy only from 1963 as it was censored during Fascism for being offensive to Italian-Americans (due to references on Rico and his gang's nationality).
- Freaks - this 1932 grotesque drama film about a freak show was banned on its initial release. Its Italian premiere was directly on Rai 3 channel, on 6 September 1983, with an introduction by movie critic Enrico Ghezzi. From 24 October 2016, the film in English language with Italian subtitles was distributed at Cineteca di Bologna's selected theatres as part of the exhibition "Il cinema ritrovato". (The found cinema).
- Farewell to Arms - this film adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway's novel of the same title was censored as well for depicting the Italian defeat at Caporetto in the WWI.
- Rasputin and the Empress - this film was censored until its distribution in 1960.
- Scarface (1932) - this pre-Code crime film was banned in Italy during the fascist era due to being offensive to Italian-Americans (the protagonist "Tony Camonte, was an Italian-American gangster). The film was released in Italy in 1947, rated 18.
- Ragazzo - this drama film was censored by the Italian government in 1933 due to Mussolini objecting to the film potraying the poorer sections of Rome (where the film was set, which the fascist goverment claimed that did not exist), as weel for showing a "model fascist" arising from a "criminal gang of hooligans". Its only copy was later looted by the German soldiers in 1944. As a result, said film is still considered a lost film.
- The Lancers of Bengal - this adventure drama film was censored during the fascist regime.
- The Three-Cornered Hat - this comedy film had the scenes of the popular discontent caused by the taxes and thefts committed by the governor, as well as the scenes representing the plebe's riots had their suppression imposed by Mussolini.
- The 39 Steps - this thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock was first released with a typical dub of the fascist period, altering various aspects of the film: the first dub of the film had the Scottish setting was shifted to the United States' Canadian border to blur the anti-nazism of the film, with the consequent "displacement effects for the spectator, which were absolutely surreal (the shot with the Scottish castles and stereotypes of sheep and kilts, ecc." set against "the audio which identified the places as Canadian or American". According to the book Le voci del tempo perduto by Gerardo di Cola, it is discovered that the film was later redubbed in 1959 in 6 turns from 8 May, but in the 1970s, the dubbing studio Mix 86 made a third Italian dub for television airing, directed by Giorgio Bonora.
- The Green Pastures - this biblical film with an all-black cast was banned during the fascist regime.
- The Charge of the Light Brigade - this war film was censored during Mussolini's dictatorship.
- The Lower Depths (1936) - this film's distribution in Italy was censored until 1940.
- The Human Beast/Judas Was a Woman- this drama film was censored during its initial release.
- Dead End (1937) - this fiilm was had most of its soundtrack replaced and several scenes were removed, running circa 8 minutes. However, in 1948 an uncut dubbed version was released.
- The Life of Emile Zola - this biographic film about French writer Emile Zola and the Dreyfus affair was censored until it was released in 1946.
- Port of Shadows - This dramatic film about a deserter of the French colonial army who has intention to leave France was first released censored in 1943 and later, uncut in 1949.
- The Adventures of Marco Polo - this adventure film about Marco Polo was censored during the Fascist era, as the government considered that the film did not exalt Italianness (as the Ministry of Popular Culture exolled Italy's historical past), changing the context of the film, where every reference to "Marco Polo", Venice and Italy were removed, renaming the eponymous hero to "MacBone Pan" (and his nationality was changed to Scottish) and Binguccio as "Macniff", so that the film could be released in Italy under the title of Uno scozzese alla corte del Gran Kan ("A Scotsman at the Great Khan's court") in 1939. However, the film was redubbed in 1951 with the title Le avventure di Marco Polo, with a dub faithful to the original version of the film and the previosly cut scenes restored.
- Revolutionshochzeit (1938) - this film was censored by the fascist government.
- Orage - this drama film was censored during the fascist regime.
- The Baker's Wife - this drama film based on a Jean Giono novel was banned during its initial release.
- The End of the Day - this drama film about a retirement home for actors was censored during its initial release.
- The Shanghai Drama - this film about an exiled White Russian woman working as cabaret singer in Shanghai was censored during its initial run.
- Idiot's Delight - this musical comedy film was banned during the government of the Duce for its pacifist message.
- Il ladro (1939) - this comedy film was censored during its initial release.
- Il pianto delle zitelle (1939) - this documentary about unmarried women during a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Trinity in Vallepietra was censored after its projection at the 1939 Venice Film Festival, thus only the cut version was shown. Thanks to the research and restoration carried out by the Central Institute for the Cataloguing and Documentation (ICCD) in 2006, the uncut version was shown.
- The Great Dictator - this film starring Charlie Chaplin was banned under the fascist regime for poking fun at Hitler (who was an ally of Mussolini). However, the film was unbanned in 1945.
- Ossessione - this drama film based on The Postman Always Rings Twice was initially released in selected theatres, later it was banned and every copy of it was destroyed by the fascist authorities. The copies which were distributed since 1945 were derived from a copy of the negative saved by the director Luchino Visconti.
- Duck Soup - this film was banned under the government of Benito Mussolini for poking fun at dictators and war.
- La Grande Ilusion - this film was banned under the government of Benito Mussolini for its anti-war message.
- Rope - this psychological crime film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, about a couple of young men strangling to death their former classmate was blocked by the censorship between 1949 until its distribution in 1956. The Italian dub altered the sense of the murder, where in ther original version, the two murderers commit the crime for the pure aesthetic pleasure sake of committing it, while in the Italian version, since the first minuted, the dialogues alter this presupposition, hinting that the murder happened unintentionally, only for a fatality induced by the bad behaviour of the victim towards his murderers. This contrasts with Brandon and Phillip's behaviour behaviour even by the detail of the gloves worn by both when they strangle David, which is a circumstance which suggests premeditation.
- Different from You and Me - this German drama film about homosexuality, which was originally released in Italy under the title Il terzo sesso (The Third Sex) was blocked by the censorship three times until it was released in 1962 with the title Processo a porte chiuse (Trial at Closed Doors).
- Nudi per vivere - this 1963 documentary composed by variety numbers filmed in several nightclubs was seized by the Public's Prosecutor Office and the judge ordered the destruction of its negatives. Years later, a copy of this film was later found at the Cineteca Nazionale's archives and shown at the 66th Venice International Film Festival.
- The Howl - this 1968 comedy film directed by Tinto Brass had its release delayed until 1974 due to censorship.
- Deep Throat - this 1972 pornographic film starring Linda Lovelace, which originally in was released as Gola Profonda in 1975, with most of the sex scenes censored. Later, it was re-released with the title La vera gola profonda (The True Deep Throat) to distinguish from Deep Throat Part II (with was released as Gola Profonda as well), During the ADR stage, the Italian version was altered when it was decided that William Love's character, who originally was a patient of the nurse Linda, became "Calogero", her boyfriend (the orignal version did not mention Linda having any boyfriend). Moreover, at the start of the film, it was hinted that Jenny and Linda were sisters, when actually they were only friends.
- Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom - this grotesque film by Pier Paolo Pasolini (which would be his last film before his murder) was initially rejected by the Censorship Commission on 11 November 1975 due to "in its tragicity bringing into the screen such deviant and repugnant images of sexual perversion which surely insult the public morals and as such overwhem the film's insping theme of any power's anarchy.". The film still had the censorship visa and was rated as restricted on appeal on 23 December 1976. However, the film had been seized twice by the Public Prosecutor Office in 1977 and its productor, Alberto Grimaldi, was sentenced for two months of jail for obscenity. The film could not be shown in cinemas until 1985 and obtained artistic dignity in 1991. The film was aired on cable TV for the first time in 2005.
- Sesso nero (Sexy Erotic Love/Exotic Malice) - this adult drama film, which was the first Italian hardcore pornographic film, was blocked by censorship between 1978 and 1980.
- Cannibal Holocaust was banned on its initial release between 1980 and 1984, to later be heavily cut. Later it was released uncut in DVD.
- Lion of the Desert - this Gaddafi-funded Libyan movie about the Italian colonial regime, has been banned in Italy since 1982, as it was deemed as harmful to the honor of the Italian Armed Forces. However, in 2009 the movie was aired in Sky on satellite TV on 11 June 2009, a day after the visit of Muammar Gaddafi at the Rome Airport.
- Totò and Carolina was banned on its initial release for poking fun at the police.
- Jules and Jim was initially for its sexual attitudes, but the ban was lifted after protest.
- Last Tango in Paris was banned from 1976 until 1987, due to its controversial sexual content. On 29 January 1976, the movie was even subject to public bonfire before its rehabilitation in 1987.
- Lolita (1997) - this film directed by Adam Lyne which is a remake of Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (which was also inspired by Vladimir Nabokov's same name novel) had its TV broadcasting opposed by the MOIGE, who denounced the productor and the distributor of the film for "instigating pedophilia".
- Eyes Wide Shut - this film, which was Kubrick's last film, was targeted various times by the MOIGE, who wanted that the Mediaset networks do not air it (due to nudity, which said organisation deemed as "putting minors at risk"). Said networks, as a result, were forced to shift its timeslot from 20:45 to late night.
- The Devils - this film based on the novel of the same name was banned in Italy was banned due to blasphemous content after its screening at the 1971 Venice Film Festival, where it was accused of being a "blasphemous, vulgar, unacceptable culturally and historically factious mystification". After its first release on Italian theatres, the Verona public prosecutor's office ordered its seizing, detecting the scenes deemed "extremely obscene, better saying, pure pornography, not justified by the narrative flow neither by ideological assumtpion". After ten days, the judiciary of Milan ruled its definitive absolution, affirming that "it is a work of art, as it is a manifestation of thought, is intangible and not subject to the penal rules which punish obscenity".
- Li chiamarono... briganti! - this historical film about bandits in the south of Italy was banned after its release in 1999 possibly for being critical of the Italian unification.
- Totò che visse due volte - this three-part Sicilian-language grotesque film set in an apocalyptic Palermo was considered "restricted to everyone" by the Cinema Review Commission in 1998, who tried to prevent its premiere at the cinemas (deeming it as "degrading the dignity of the Sicilian people, of the Italian world and humanity", "offensive to public decency", with "explicit disrespect towards religious sentiment" containing scenes which were deemed "blasphemous and sacrilegious, full of moral degradation".) Later, it was overturned on appeal of the directors.
- Videocracy - this documentary film which analyses the power of television and how it influences the behaviours and choices of the Italian population had is trailer was refused airing by Rai and Mediaset. The reasons were "politic" for the former and "of opportunity" for the latter (possibly because it was deemed an offense to then-Premier Silvio Berlusconi).
- Brokeback Mountain - When TV channel Rai 2 aired this film on 8 Decembre 2008, a censored version with two scenes (such as the one where the first sexual relation between the two protagonists and the scene were they hug eachother) were cut. Said cut caused protests from telespectators and LGBT organisations.
- Morituris - this independent horror film about three men sexually harassing foreign tourists on the same site where five undead Roman gladiators were buried after being executed by Spartacus, was originally scheduled to be released on Italian cinemas on 19 November 2012, but the Cinema Review Commission denied its release of the certificate due to the film featuring gratuitous rape scenes and graphic violence As a result, the film was released on DVD in 2014. This was the last film to be censored in Italy, before the abolition of the censorship in 2021..
In 2021, Italy ended its film censorship bureau, unbanning all formerly banned films, and leaving it up to theaters to decide what to screen.
- Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy was banned in Italy by request of Amanda Knox's on the belief that it had the potential to taint Knox's appeals. It certainly might have helped Knox get back home to Seattle several months after the trial. However, the movie managed to be aired in Italy in December 2012.
- Report - This journalism TV show had its funds for legal assistance cut from RAI due to tackling sensitive issues in the past that exposed the journalists to legal action (for example the authorization of buildings that did not meet earthquake-resistance specifications, cases of overwhelming bureaucracy, the slow process of justice, prostitution, health care scandals, bankrupt bankers secretly owning multimillion-dollar paintings, waste mismanagement involving dioxane toxic waste, cancers caused by asbestos anti-fire shieldings (Eternit) and environmental pollution caused by a coal power station near the city of Taranto). This, combined with many lawsuits against the journalists in the absence of the funds to handle them could bring the program to an end.
- Cinquanta - in this comedy show on Rai 3, on November 2003, the host Pippo Baudo cut the thorny jokes delivered by the guest Daniele Luttazzi during an episode about television censorship, The following jokes were a joke about then-Minister of Economy Giulio Tremonti, other about the leader of Democracy is Freedom - The Daisy party Francesco Rutelli, as well a joke about the Ministry of Communications and Berlusconi's aired networks.
- RAIot - Armi di distrazione di massa - this satirical TV show was banned in November 2003 after comedian Sabrina Guzzanti made outspoken criticism of Berlusconi media empire
- Le Iene - This comedy/satire journalism show had one episode banned due to a report showing use of cocaine in the Italian Parliament.
- WWE Friday Night SmackDown - this professional wrestling show was pulled from broadcast from Italia 1 in 2007 after the death of Eddie Guerrero and the double murder-suicide of Chris Benoit. Prior to that, the Moige criticised this show for the violence of its fights, in particular, the unsportsman-like behaviour of the wrestlers, who, according to plot convenience, were forced to hit eachother's backs and hit with objects such as chairs and tables, even outside the ring. Although the show has a disclaimer saying that the athletes were stuntman and the recommendation to not emulate the actions, the Moige expressed concern about the potential injuries children could have by imitating the wrestlers' moves.
- BIsturi! Nessuno è perfetto - this tuesday evening The Swan-like reality show aired between 27 January 2004 to 16 March 2004 (lasting seven episodes), hosted by Irene Pivetti and Platinette about participants getting cosmetic surgery (with also videos took "during" the operation) was target of criticism by Codacons (''Coordinamento delle associatzioni per la difesa dell'ambiente e dei diritti degli utenti e dei consumatori'', Coordination of the Associations for Defence of the Environment and Rights of Users and Consumers) and the Moige, who wanted the end of the show, Los Angeles Times linked it to the Berlusconi-style. The show was also criticised by the Order of Medicians of Milan and by newspaper Osservatore Romano, while several companies decided to remove the advertising slots bought inside the show. Television critic defined it as "Gory and a bit revolting". As a result, Italia 1 took Bisturi! out of its tuesday evening timeslot on 16 March 2004, after the show had at its start the red seal (not suitable for minors) with the disclaimer "May be harmful to minors".
- Um Himmels Willen - in 2011, when the episode 125 "Romeo und Romeo" was removed from the programmation by Rai 1 because its theme was a homosexual marriage, bringing criticism and accusations from several personalities such as then-Democratic Party MP Paola Concia who said "Rai Uno is still far from reality, from the common feeling of Italians, trying to be a mouthpiece for a gay-obsessed centre-right wing". Rai 1 director at the time, Mauro Mazza, replied "There is no censory intention on Rai 1's behalf [,..] The imminent start of the network's new programming schedule forced us to remove an episode of the series. [...] The choice of not airing said episode was a pondered editorial decision to avoid any sort of polemics related to an actuality subject which could not be banalised".
- Física o Química - this Spanish teen drama series was removed from Rai 4's programmation schedule in 2012, at behest of RAI's general director Lorenza Leti. Newspaper Libero highlighted the presence of some scenes related to the homosexual love of the two protagonists, Fer and David. Said decision caused protests and indignation from the network's director Carlo Freccero and part of the Spanish press with headlines such as "The country of veline and bunga bunga got scandalised". In 2013, Agcom (Agency for Guarantees in Communications) gave reason to the network and to Freccero for reintroducing the series in the programmation schedule. In a press release, Agcom confirms that "The series tackles sensitive themes such as sentimental and sexual relations, drugs, food problems, father and sons relationships, homosexuality, bullying, racism; though detecting criticism intrinsic to said subjects, it can be observed that the analysed scenes appear, overall, justified by the narrative plot and the mode of representation of said scenes result to be free from morbid attention and gratuitous details".
- How to Get Away with Murder - when this show premiered on Rai 2 in 2016, the network cenored every homosexual scene or any scene which dealt with the subject within the episodes aired, unleashing many protests from the LGBT organisations and communities (even at international level) and from the web (on many web sites and pages, including those of RAI and RAI 2). After the incident, on Twitter the hashtag #RaiOmofoba (HomophobicRai) grew and reached the Italian top 10 of Twitter trend topics. The authors and actors of the show themselves (after seeing the differences between the original and the RAI 2 versions) shown their disdain and perplexity towards the censorship operated on the series. Due to the protests, Rai 2 director Ilaria Dallatana apologised herself blaming an "excess of prudishness", reairing the episodes in uncut edition (without censorship) on 10 July 2016 at the same time as the UEFA Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal. Even the decision of delaying the episode during the UEFA Euro 2016 final provoked (although in a lesser extent) protests from the web. The issue also involved many top personalities in the panorama, among them, the chairman of RAI's Vigilance Commission Roberto Fico, elected in 2013, who wrote on his Facebook page "A way of acting which is contrary to what public service is supposed to be. Would this be the compoany's revolution? Rai 2 director, who should have apologised, spoke about "excess of prudishness". A ridiculous justifications. It would be something else that RAI, in name of modesty, should cancel from its programming schedules. I will officially ask to the Rai 2 director some public apologies and a strong lawsuit against the responsibles of this gesture. We are fed up of thinking of the public service as something stuck in a time which does not exists anymore". The general director of RAI Antonio Campo Dall'Orto said: "What happened with How to Get Away with Murder i think is part of the transormation of a company recognising having acted in a determinate scope with a behaviour not appropriate to its times". On 10 July, the actor Jack Falahee (one of the series' protagonists, affected by censorship as he was present in the censored scenes) thanked Rai 2 through a tweet on his profile for airing the episodes without censorship.
- South Park: the episode "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", was banned for references to homosexual pedophilia and infanticide. The "Do The Handicapped Go to Hell?"-"Probably" two-parter was pulled for mocking and asking too many questions about the Catholic faith. Years later, the season 23 episode "Christmas Snow" was banned for depicting Jesus smoking weed. Besides these instances, the show was censored in Italia 1, through a dub which translated the dialogues not literally (due to the presence of swear words), allegedly due to the pressure of the infamous Christian lobby group MOIGE (MOvimento Italiano GEnitori, Italian Parents Movement), which brought the broadcaster to ditch the series after Season 4. However, since 2007 it was broadcast uncensored by the Italian feed of Comedy Central.
- Batman Beyond - In Italy, this animated series had a slight change in the dialogues, with a notable example being the Society of Assassins (Lega degli Assassini) renamed as "Society of Criminals" (Lega dei Criminali).
- Family Guy -when aired on Italia 1, the show suffered some censorship. For instance, in the episode "Baby Not on Board", when the Griffins visit Ground Zero, the line where Peter asks if it was the "place where the first guy got AIDS" had the reference changed to H1N1. In the episode "Death Has a Shadow", Stewie's line "No! Blast you and your estrogenical treachery!" which was translated in the FOX version as "Bring me down, you bag of estrogens for English meat!" was omitted (possibly for reference to the Mad cow disease outbreak in UK). However, when broadcasted on the Italian feed of FOX, the dialog censorship was not present.
The first anime series to air in Italy on private networks had almost to none censorship, even if these had vaguely erotic scenes such as The Rose of Versailles and Lady Georgie (which were cut during both series' reruns), while in the public access television, only some scenes which were deemed too much violent in mecha and science fiction anime. In the 1970s, when UFO Robot Grendizer, among various anime were aired and had a considerable success in the country, some parents and Members of Parliament (one of these MP Italian Communist Party politician Silverio Corvisieri, who was the then-chairman of RAI's Vigilance Commission, publishing an article critical of the anime called Un Ministero per Goldrake ("A Ministry for Grendizer") on La Repubblica in 1975) were bemused and hostile towards Japanese animation, with an issue of Topolino (Mickey Mouse comics) magazine even stating a misconception stating that "Japanese cartoons are made by a computer" (as in "generated automatically by a computer through the insertion of data" and not in "animated with CGI") , which was debunked in 1990 by the journalist Luca Raffaeli during an interview for Mangazine with a Toei Animation employee who stated "Computers? There isn't any computer here at all. I know that in Italy there is around the legend about Japanese cartoons made with computers, but i can assure you that there isn't any computer here", even in the following year, another dossier for Mangazine, written by manga translator Luca Colpi, the spokesman of Toei Animation further debunked the misconception saying "Sorry, but did you saw our studios? We don't have even the vacuum cleaner, that's too advanced technology... And then, Grendizer was made in 1975! At that time, not even word processors were such a thing."
- Alpen Rose - a shoujo anime set in WWII, was the first anime to be systematically censored in Italy in 1985-1986, in order to remove the references to the war as well to the Nazis. The dramatic scenes were also cut, which made the plot unfollowable, besides having the episode 15 removed entirely. For a strange reason, even the narrator voice was completely cut. However, in 2006, the series was re-translated and re-released uncut on DVD.
- Nobara no Julie (Julie the Wild Rose) - this anime set after WWI about Julie, an Austrian orphan girl who fled from Tyrol, had all the references to Italy removed, as the aircraft which killed the protagonist's parents was Italian.
- UFO Robot Grendizer, which was a classic in Italy, had three episodes not aired during its first run by RAI, to adapt the series to the sensibility of a Western public. However, these were recovered on the DVD edition:
- Episode 15 "A Letter To My Mother, Far, Far Away", which was about a scientist from Vega (the planet of the show's villains) who did not want to use its seismic amplifier for war purposes, having his mother imprisoned in a forced labor, where other planet's dissidents were imprisoned, and said scientist, after being brainwashed by Vega, was killed by the protagonist Daisuke/Duke Fleed (the pilot of the titular mecha), did not air in Italy.
- Episode 59 "Ah! The Boy Commandos", was not aired due to its plot point of the villains brainwashing five Vega young boys from Vega to attack a military base, so that Duke Fleed aboard of Grendizer would be forced to intervene and kill them.
- Episode 71 "The Tragedy of Elite Bodyguard Mors", in which the Commander Mors, who was an old friend of Duke Fleed and had his planet invaded by Vega, was forced by the villains to fight for them against Grendizer, only to die in a suicide mission against Vega, was not broadcast in Italy. This episode, however, was used in an Italian-made compilation movie, Goldrake addio ("Farewell Grendizer").
- Lady Georgie - this shojo anime was aired in Italy uncut between 1984 and 1991. Later, the story was replicated with different cuts both to the dramatic and the "malicious" scenes, due to protests from parents' associations.
- The Rose of Versailles - This 1970s shojo anime set during the French Revolution about Oscar-François de Jarjayes, a woman raised as a man by her father in order to succeed him as the commander of the Royal Guard at the Palace of Versailles, suffered many levels of censorship in the Italian dub, such as the dialogues being toned down, along with the scenes of the first encounter between Rosalie and Oscar and the latter who was coughing blood were cut. However, many dramatic scenes, such as character deaths (the suicide of Charlotte, for example) or the extramarital relationship between Marie Antoinette and Fersen. In the 1990s, after another rerun on Mediaset, the network suddenly decided to re-edit the show (which implied also cutting the finale of the last episode, where Oscar and André hugging themselves naked), possibly, due to the criticism towards anime, which affected the network at that time, changing the opening and cutting the scenes deemed "not suitable to the audience", which implied cutting even the final scenes which featured written at the corner the Japanese text for "continue" ("つつく", Tsutsuku). However, since 2008, after many protests and a better atmosphere towards Japanese animation, the series was broadcasted again, with the 80s edition.
- F - this anime about racing had any scene showing a billboard or a guardrail featuring Japanese text cut and replaced by stills of the scenes preceding these, as well having the dramatic and "malitious" scenes cut, distorting the plot as a result. However, the series has been shown uncut on satellite TV since the 2000s.
- Mahou no Tenshi Creamy Mami - This shojo anime had no further censorship in Italy, apart from some changes in character names.
- Attacker You! - this shojo anime about volleyball suffered several censorships such as some dialogues altered (one instance was a dialog in the Italian dub which made the protagonist, Yu Hazuki as "cousin" of Kozue Ayuhara, protagonist from an unrelated volleyball anime, Attack No.1, which in Italy aired some years before) and some potentially objectionable content from the original Japanese version were cut, namely scenes of Coach Daimon's brutal and violent behaviour toward his players and occasional scenes of bare breasts in shower scenes.
- Candy Candy - this shojo anime based on Kyoko Mizuki's novel, was censored in minimal amounts in Italy, having some scenes cut and some dialog added where in the original was silent. In the Italian version the finale was altered as well by adding a fictional dialog where the protagonist Candy reads on a journal that Susanna and Terence broke up and there was some hope for them in the future. Even if the journal stated that it was written the opposite, that is, that Terence returned to drama acting and was engaged to Susanna, whereas in the original version, Candy got very closer to Albert (even if it was not clearly said that they were engaged) and Terence stayed on Susanna's side.
- Kimagure Orange Road - this shonen anime was not spared from censorship when it aired on Mediaset, with two episodes not aired (the one where Kyosuke, hypontized by his sister, tries to steal the girls' underwear, while the other episode cut being the one where Madoka was fighting against the girls of a rival school on the beams of the site of a building in construction) and some scenes cut such as the one when Kyosuke trying to strip Madoka (who was oblivious), a scene where Kyosuke looks one of the girls too much intensely, many nosebleeding scenes and a scene where Madoka leans on Kyosuke's shoulder (which strangely, despite being cut, it was still seen on the patchwork used for the Italian opening of the anime). The OAV of this anime was also subject to censorship as well. However, both the anime and the OVA can be still seen uncut on satellite TV as well on home video.
- Captain Tsubasa - this shounen manga about soccer did not have further censorship than having the Japanese characters being renamed with Anglo-Saxon-sounding names (such as "Oliver Hutton" for Tsubasa Ozora, "Benji Price" for Genzo Wakabayashi, to cite a few). The episode 34 of the 1994 version was not aired due to it being a recap episode. However, when the 2018 version of the anime aired, the original Japanese names were kept as requested by the author Yoichi Takahashi (with the purpose to unify the series' brand worldwide).
- Attack No.1 - while this volleyball-themed shoujo anime was intact during its first two Italian dubs (dated 1981 and 1982, where the only change was the protagonist Kozue Ayuhara being named Mimi Ayuhara), the 1995 Italian dub by Mediaset (which had the series redubbed) had most of the other female characters (who in the previous editions kept their Japanese names) were given Italian-sounding names (such as Midori Hayakawa being renamed Simonetta).
- Saint Seiya - this shonen anime had several instances of censorship, such as the change of the names of characters and techniques, the age of the 5 lead characters was changed from teenage to at least 18 years (In the second episode, Seiya says that he had been in Greece for 6 years and had left at age 10, making him an 18-year old. In the anime, there were scenes of the protagonists driving motor vehicles), the employment of additional dialog where original scenes were mute (which was justified by the dialog translator Stefano Cerioni, saying that the scripts on which the dubbing studio was working were mostly patchy.), After the anime was bought by Mediaset from its previous broacasters Odeon TV and Junior TV, the instances of blood were censored by fading it. The series is available uncut in DVD.
- Fushigi no umi no Nadia - this anime inspired by Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues over the Sea was censored during its run on Mediaset, generally most scenes featuring blood or the protagonist Nadia in the nude were censored, as well the dialogues where Gargoyle refers to Atlanteans as gods were edited. In episode 13 "Run, Marie, Run!", a sequence featuring the Japanese opening was removed, while in episode 34 "My Darling Nadia", which was a series recap, was not aired by the network due to featuring many Japanese songs. However, the DVD and satellite TV editions were uncut.
- Sailor Moon - this magical girl anime was censored during its run in 1997 on Mediaset. Its notable instances of censorship were changes to some character names (Usagi was named Bunny for example). the villains Zoisite (who were male) were changed to female and amongst some changes in couples, among these, Haruka/Sailor Uranus and Michiru/Sailor Neptune's had their lesbian relationship changed to being "simple friends". The Three Lights/Sailor Starlights were radically changed: in the original version, they were three males who transformed into female Senshi (while in the manga they were female characters who when not transformed, simply disguised as males), while in the Italian dub it was changed as their male civilian forms being the "twin brothers", which summoned Sailor Starlights (female) when they needed the latter in battle (with the parts of their transformation scene, where their bodies form female curves, hips and glutes as well their breasts growing, being cut), which only applied to Episode 188 and then dropped without explanation in later episodes. Some additional dialog by the narrator was also added and the last episode of the fifth season was heavily edited, where the titular heroine, during a particularly violent battle, was shown naked at the end, which was cut as it was deemed by the censors "not acceptable", even if said nudity was symbolic and cohesive with the sense of the story and did not presented sexual features (being similar to most dolls). Due to all of these cuts, The series was already under controversy in Italy in the same year it was dubbed due to an infamous remark of Vera Slepoj, an Italian "psychologist", which claimed that being a strong fighter is an exclusively manly trait, while a girly/female superheroine is a bad role model for little boys who want to imitate her, making them "sexually confused". The headline of Slepoj's article, which was "Bimbi, non guardatela, vi renderà femminucce" (which can be roughly translated as "Children, do not watch her [Sailor Moon], it will make turn you into sissies"), which was considered outrageous even in the 1990s, causing controversy and many discussions which led to the then-airing season, Sailor Moon Stars, to suffer the aforementioned censorships. It did not help that said controversy (as well the censorship of the series in various countries where it was dubbed) played a part in the author, Naoko Takeuchi banning the series by the next ten years, until the series was licensed by Toei in 2010 and the DVD edition was released, in which the series has been released uncensored, with the Mediaset-edited version as an option.
- Dr. Slump and Arale-chan - the 1981 anime during its first airing on 1983 on Rete 4 (which had only 51 episodes and a special dubbed), had several examples of censorship, such as some names changed (Midori Yamabuki became Miss Florinda, Peasuke became Pippo, Akane became Naomi and Senbei Norimaki was only referred as "Dr. Slump") and some "cultural simplification" (that is, removal of Japanese culture references) were done. Its 1997 remake, however was broadcast by sister channel Italia 1, which included some episodes of the 1981 anime which were not dubbed during the 80s (from 52 to 243). Both versions suffered minor censorships on the dialogues which leaned towards erotic content, but the original names (except Gacchan, which was renamed from Mangi) and a lesser use of "cultural simplification".
- Dragon Ball - the first anime initially (in 1996) had some scenes cut and some dialogues altered to hide some sexual-themed gags. From 1998, when Mediaset bought the rights, further censorship was made: some character names were changed, with sometimes the same name being assigned to some secondary characters (such as "Al Satan", which was first assigned to Ox King, who later was known as "Gyuma" in the dub, and then, assigned definitively to Piccolo Daimao), some scenes which in the original were silent had additional lines dubbed over (In the original version the narrator should have commented only at the beginning and at the end of the episode, while the opposing characters during a fights should analyze eachother themselves, but the Italian dub added purely made up reflections), such as in many anime aired on said network and the katakana text was removed from the seven balls present in the opening. However, the home video release had the series uncut.
- Its sequel, Dragon Ball Z, originally released on VHS by DeAgostini in 1998, had slight censorship in its dialogues. However, in 2000, when the anime went to Italia 1, it had only a few video censorships compared to the original Dragon Ball. In 2011-12, during a rerun, however, three episodes (episode 79 - "Is This the End?! A Brutally Transcendent Power Attacks Gohan", episode 80 - ""The Tide Suddenly Turns!! Piccolo, the Warrior Who Came Late" and episode 85 - "The Moment We've Waited For!!! Son Goku is Revived") were skipped for the first time, on behest of MOIGE, as these were deemed too vioient. During this rerun, lots of heavy video censorship in almost every episode featuring blood was made and a scene from episode 253 - "I've Stopped Killing!! Majin Boo's Good Boy Declaration", which depicted two gunmen killing an old couple for fun, was cut, as said scene costed a €100.000 fine to the network.
- Lupin the III - Lupin the III Part I (where Lupin wears a green jacket, which had two dubs in Italy, with the first, which aired essentially uncensored, having few scenes cut and its second had major censorship) and Lupin the III Part II (where Lupin wears his iconic red jacket) were initially broadcast uncut in syndication (through regional networks), and then censored in video and dialog when aired on public access channels. However, later movies and animes of this series were uncut, as well as recent reruns of the two first series.
- Slayers - this anime, which in Italy when it aired on Mediaset had all its three seasons aired under the title Un'incantesimo dischiuso tra i petali del tempo per Rina ("A disclosed spell between the petals of time for Lina"), suffered several censorships such as name changes (Lina Inverse becomes Rina, Gourry Gabriev becomes Guido and Rezo became Zeno), many spell names were changed and some minor spells were not named, being replaced replaced exclamations such as "Azione!" ("Action!"), "Via!" or "Vai!" (the latter two both meaning "Go!") and their formulas (such as Dragon Slave, used to summon Shabranigdu) were changed, some dialogues and scenes were toned down, additional dialogues were employed and some religious references were downplayed (such as Rezo's title being changed from "Red Priest" to "Red Monk" and the deities were referred as such except when they appeared as dragons, in which they were referred as "powers of good"). When it aired on satellite TV Hiro, and then on Italia 2, the cut scenes were restored, while the home video edition had the whole anime uncut and redubbed.
- Magic Knight Rayearth - this anime, which aired on Mediaset under the title "Una porta socchiusa ai confini del sole" ("A door ajar on the edge of the Sun" ), had the dialogues and some character names altered, the nudity (either partial or full), violent or bloody scenes cut, as well the references to Japan (such as writings, signboards, places) were also removed. The finale, where both Zagato and Emeraude were killed by the protagonists was edited in order to make that they were instead to another dimension, rather than being killed off. Its home video edition had the series redubbed uncut with the original names and a new dubbing cast.
- One Piece - Initially, Monkey D. Luffy was named "Rubber", but in the later he retained the original name, with "Rubber" being an in-dub nickname. The Devil Fruits (Frutti del Diavolo) were renamed as "Sea Fruits" (Frutti del Mare).
- Naruto - this anime had various instants of censorship such as having the kiss scene between Naruto and Sasuke and the scene where Kakashi performs Sennen Goroshi were cut, the scenes where Naruto uses his Sexy Jutsu have a yellow halo on screen, many of the violent scenes are toned down with the blood (if present) being darkened in order to hide it. The word "baka" (which in Italian would be translated as "idiota") was translated as "pecorella" (little sheep) or as "testa quadra" (squarehead, usually employed in translation when Sasuke says it to Naruto), possibly to tone down strong language. The show in the original Japanese version dealt with the humanity of the ninjas, which in the Italian dub was downplayed, by making them more "superhero-like". However, these instances of censorship lessened when Naruto Shippuden aired in Italy.
- Hokuto no Ken - this seinen anime, while not banned or censored in Italy for its ultra-violent content, came under heavy media criticism after a case of news ocurred in Tortona in the Autumn of 1996, where it was found out that the 8 young men who threw rocks to the cars on the top of an overpass, kiling a young passenger, had a handful of Hokuto no Ken volumes alongside posters of Dylan Dog and X-Files, a black anorak and a heavy metal CD in their room during an inspection by the Carabinieri. A small network in Tuscany, Rete 37 withdrew the anime from its programmation even apologizing for the "guilty delay" of said decision, which backfired after a hundred of young spectators phoned Rete 37, asking them to the bring back the anime on their channel.
- Mizuiro Jidai - this shojo anime suffered heavy cuts when it was aired on Mediaset under the title Temi d'amore tra i banchi di scuola ("Love themes between school desks") in order to suit the pre-teenage audience to which the programmators targeted the series. In the original version, it was meant to be a coming-of-age story showing the transition of the protagonists from childhood to adulthood through puberty. As a matter of fact, the original title,"Aqua age", is a reference to the fact that the color of water is not constant as it is in movement and changing, like the attitudes of teenagers. The series has often references to changes during puberty and it has in some way a didactic value, which was not understood by the Italian edit by shifting its target audience. An example is the Episode 5, "Chance encounter", where Yuko (the protagonist) had her first periods, which was completely censored and as side-effect, it messed the dialog to not mention said pivotal event in the episode, with the dialog making Yuko say that she had a "terrible nightmare" which could be premonitory; her friends (who in the original version, cheer her up by saying that they also have their periods) in the Italian dub say that they too often dream premonitions about even class homework marks, but after said remark the image of a bra can be seen as reference to the original version, where she says about the enlargement her breasts would have next (the reasons for which Mediaset did not took out this contradictory scene are unknown). Once she returned, the girl tells to her mother what happened to her, and the mother congratulates her: in the original vesrion, this is due to her changing, while in the Italian version is due to the fact that it was her name day, an event made up by the dub (In Japan, name days are not celebrated) to justify the parties and congratulations which would be given to the girl during the dinner. When the following day, the girl would receive a menstrual pad as gift, in the Italian dub it would become a "talisman able to protect from nightmares". Moreover, in said episode, the content of a video the sex-separated students were watching at school, was omitted, while in the original version it was an educational video about sex, in the Italian version, the content for the male students became a sports rerun, while for the female students there is not any mention. What is more, the girl fears that during the physical education class time, any unpleasant situation about her womanhood could happen, but in the Italian dub, her fear to face the lesson was due to the fact she fears for her safety, since in her nightmare, it was foreseen that an "unpleasant mishap" could happen to her. It is worth noting that the episode's title, which alludes to the important changement to the girl's body, was not edited, in addition to which, the episode created enough confusion not explaining why the girl blushes of shame everytime she talked about her "nightmare" or when she says sentences like "I have low marks even in physical education". Besides to this episode, many cuts were made due to the lowering of the age of its target audience, such as in the Episode 30, whne the scene where Takako sees Yuko's father naked twice.
- Hunter × Hunter (1999) - this anime initially aired on Italia 1, between 23 January 2007 and 24 January 2008 uncut due to the Italian edition was made by Shin Vision and not Mediaset. At episode 16, "Rock × Scissors × Heart", Mediaset censored the series due to said episode having "risqué" scenes and dialogue, such as Killua removing the heart of an opponent, changing the sense of the story, or when Leorio refers to his oppoent as a "homosexual". Due to the first scene having been aired mistakenly, Italia 1 censored heavily the series after protest phone calls, due to Mediaset airing the uncut masters and not the edited ones for TV airing), Mediaset realised that it aired the original uncut masters and not the edited versions for broadcast. Thus, the anime initially was taken out of air from its early afternoon timeslot (it didn't help matters the fact the viewership was low), shifting it to saturday and sunday morning. Later, the network reaired the first previously broadcasted 32 episodes (to air the remaining in premiere) again at early afternoon, but in a censored form (Episode 32 was renamed from "Rock × Scissors × Heart" to "Rock × Scissors × Paper" with the incriminating scene cut). By changing the dub editor (Shin Video to Mediaset) and dubbing studio (CVD to Merak Video), the censorship in series' OAVs noticeably increased. Some dialogue was completely modified ("assassin" was replaced by "mercenary", "kill" became "eliminate"). Also in that episode, Leorio bets that his opponent is a man and she shows him the contrary while Tonpa covers Gon's eyes. The scene was changed, and the bet became if she was bald or not, which does not explain why Tonpa closed Gon's eyes and why Leorio was so happy about the check. Other scenes were heavily cut, such as when Killua rips off his opponent's heart in said episode or other scenes where blood appears. When the digital terrestrial TV channel Hiro aired the series, the scenes were shown uncut. The uncut version is also available in DVD published by Shin VIsion, with both the uncut dub and the Mediaset dub.
- Detective Conan - In the Italian dub of this detective anime, the substance used to de-age Shinichi was referred early as a "magic potion" rather than a drug. In later episodes, it was changed to a "medicine".
Video game censorship
- Resident Evil: In 1999, under instruction of Rome's Preliminary Investigation Judge, the Guard of Finance seized the copies of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 from 350 stores nationwide by applying seals on 5500 cases for PlayStation and with CD-Roms in the PCs, because it was deemed "Instigating violence and leading to influencing the psychic development and personality of young people aged between 12-14 years, creating them a fear of getting asleep and angst", citing also that "The good guys also die", which was deemed as an "inappropriate message to teach children".
- Rule of Rose - In 2006, following the release its trailer, the magazine Panorama ran an article claiming live burials of children at the protagonist's hand. Shortly after, then-mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, called for a ban of the game in Italy. The game's European publisher, 505 Games, dismissed these claims, and the game was not banned following Veltroni's comments.
- Manhunt 2 - In 2007, following the decision of the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Minster of Communications Paolo Gentiloni expressed a desire to ban this game in Italy due to the gratuitous violence and excessive cruelty in the game, but the ban was never set into practice.
- Counter-Strike: Source - this game was banned in Genoa in 2008, after reports of teenagers in high schools cutting classes to play the game on Internet cafes. The ban was met with support by parents yet was ridiculed by local teens for being a tool to keep the local city hall from putting time and effort on other social problems.
- Mafia - while not banned, this game was lambasted by MOIGE for "showing the good side of mafia".
- C'erano una volta i "cartoni fatti con il computer": la storia vera!
- Il computer più potente del mondo!
- Censorship in Italy at Wikipedia
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