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Asia Argento at the opening Gala during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 17, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Victim blaming

Asia Argento flees Italy after public condemns her for speaking out about Harvey Weinstein

By WITW Staff on October 19, 2017

Italian movie actress and director Asia Argento is facing pushback in her home country after speaking out about an alleged rape at the hands of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. While Argento’s courage in speaking about what happened to her was praised in Hollywood, and helped encourage at least 40 women to speak out about their own experiences of assault at the hands of Weinstein, public opinion in Italy has sided more with Weinstein than with Argento, according to Quartz’s Annalisa Merelli.

Merelli points out that the opinion writers have been remarkably bold in their condemnation of Argento and other actresses speaking out against sexual assault — former journalist and MP Renato Farina, for instance, has suggested that the assaults described by actresses are “prostitution, not rape.” Vittorio Feltri, editor in chief of Libero, a right wing populist newspaper, said that since Weinstein didn’t physically harm Argento that the sex must have been consensual — and that, if anything, Argento should be thankful to Weinstein for forcibly performing oral sex on her. Politician Vittorio Sgarbi went still further, arguing that Weinstein “was actually assaulted by her.”

Prominent Italian women have targeted Argento as well, questioning why she didn’t speak out earlier about the rape or claiming that she deserved what happened to her since she willingly visited Weinstein in his hotel room.

In wake of the public outcry against her, Argento has said that she is leaving Italy for Germany to escape the “climate of tension” and “victim blaming.”

“Italy,” Argento said, “is far behind the rest of the world in its view of women.”

In her article for Quartz, Merelli also shared a myriad of other misogynistic accusations leveled against Argento — including the disturbing reaction of Italian musician Morgan, who was Argento’s partner for seven years and had a daughter with her. All of this vitriol comes in a culture that was once presided over by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a man known for being a misogynist and someone who actually has much in common with the current U.S. president.

Read the full story at Quartz.


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