The Netflix series marks an ethnic feat on Italian television

The Netflix series marks an ethnic feat on Italian television

Zero heroes hope the series will help accelerate acceptance that Italy has become a multicultural country.


Milan – The Netflix series “Zero”, which premiered globally last month, is the first Italian TV production with a mostly black cast, a flash of clarity in a bleak television scene where the constant use of racist language and images leads to new protests.

While “Zero” represents a breakthrough in the history of Italian television, comedy sets on private networks assert their right to use racist insults and slanting eye gestures in derision. The main state radio station, RAI, is under fire for trying to censor comments by an Italian rapper highlighting homophobia in a right-wing political party. Under outside pressure, RAI advises against using black face (face smearing, a practice considered racist in the United States) in parodies, but it does not strictly prohibit.

Amid rising cultural tensions, “Zero” heroes hope the series, made up of second-generation black Italian characters and based on a novel by the son of Angolan immigrants, will help accelerate public acceptance that Italy has become a multicultural country.

“I always say that Italy is a country bound by tradition, not racism,” said Antonio Decelli Distefano, who co-wrote the series and focuses his six novels, including those on which Zero is based. Children of immigrants in Italy.

He said, “I am convinced that through these things – writing novels, making a series – things can change.”

Zero is a radical change because it provides role models for young black Italians who were not reflected in the culture, and because it creates a window for changes in Italian society that are not recognized by sections of the majority of the population.

Anti-racism activists assert on Italian TV that it was developed by Netflix, based in the United States, with a commitment to spend $ 100 million to improve diversity, not by public or private television in Italy.

“Zero”, which premiered on April 21st, is instantly featured in the top 10 most watched shows on Netflix in Italy.

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