VENICE, Italy—You’ve got to be kidding me. At Saturday night’s Venice Film Festival red carpet premiere of Amazon Studios’ Suspiria, a glamorous black-tie event at the majestic Palazzo del Cinema’s Sala Grande on the Lido, a D-list Italian filmmaker decided to make a mockery of himself (and the fest) by parading a T-shirt featuring a picture of Harvey Weinstein in a suit accompanied by the message: “Weinstein Is Innocent.”
The man, Luciano Silighini Gargnani, is a 42-year-old Italian director and producer who is, rather unsurprisingly, known as a staunch supporter of the Republican Party stateside and Silvio Berlusconi in Italy. In fact, his latest film, released in Italy earlier this year, provided a positive spin on Berlusconi’s infamous “bunga-bunga” sex parties.
Two of the disgraced film mogul/sexual predator’s most vocal accusers, Asia Argento and Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, are Italian, and audio of Weinstein admitting to groping Gutierrez was published as part of Ronan Farrow’s earth-shattering New Yorker investigation. What’s more, the Los Angeles Police Department still has an open investigation into Weinstein for the alleged rape of an unnamed Italian actress following 2013’s Los Angeles Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest. Weinstein stands accused of raping the actress in her hotel room at Mr. C in Beverly Hills.
Still, unlike America and the UK, Italy has yet to embrace the #MeToo movement. Weinstein’s Italian accusers have been branded “whores” in their homeland, and Argento was even briefly forced to flee to Germany due to the fierce backlash. (Argento, meanwhile, has been the subject of her own sexual-assault controversy recently.)
This revolting display by Gargnani is only the latest example.