News 17 December 2019
Author: Courtney W

Serie A Under Fire For Using Monkeys In Anti-Racism Campaign

17 December 2019

Italia football league Serie A has come under fire after using images of monkeys in its anti-racism campaign.

Due to be shown at the Serie A headquarters in Milan, the campaign includes images of three monkeys with painted faces.

Anti-discriminatory body, Fare, have condemned the campaign, saying: “In a country in which the authorities fail to deal with racism week after week, Serie A have launched a campaign that looks like a sick joke.

“These creations are an outrage; they will be counter-productive and continue the dehumanisation of people of African heritage. It is time for the progressive clubs in the league to make their voice heard.”

However, Simone Fugazzotto – the artist behind the images who always uses monkeys in his work – has defended his latest creation, saying “we are all monkeys”.

“I decided to portray monkeys to talk about racism because they are the metaphor for human beings. Last year I was at the stadium to see Inter v Napoli [a match in which Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was racially abused] and I felt humiliated, everyone was shouting ‘monkey’ at Koulibaly, a player I respect.

“I’ve always been painting monkeys for five to six years, so I thought I’d make this work to teach that we’re all apes, I made the western monkey with blue and white eyes, the Asian monkey with almond-shaped eyes and the black monkey positioned in the centre, where everything comes from.

“The monkey becomes the spark to teach everyone that there is no difference, there is no man or monkey, we are all alike. If anything we are all monkeys.”

Since the campaign was revealed, AS Roma took to Twitter to publicly condemn the campaign.

They wrote: “#ASRoma was very surprised to see what appears to be an anti-racist campaign from Serie A featuring painted monkeys on social media today. We understand the league wants to tackle racism but we don’t believe this is the right way to do it.”

Kick It Out, another anti-discriminatory body, also expressed their upset over the campaign, adding: ”Serie A’s use of monkeys in their anti-racism campaign is completely inappropriate, undermines any positive intent and will be counter-productive.

“We hope that the league reviews and replaces their campaign graphics.”