Brian Molko is being sued for calling Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni “a piece of sh*t fascist, racist”.
Placebo vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Brian Molko is being sued by the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, for defamation, local press reports via The Guardian.
The defamation suit arrives after the Pure Morning singer called Meloni “racist” and a “fascist” during the band’s performance at last month's Sonic Park festival in Stupinigi outside Turin, Italy.
In July, prosecutors in Turin, Italy, began investigating Molko for his comments, where he called Meloni “a piece of shit fascist, racist” and led a “fuck you” crowd chant to 10,000 people.
Variety reports that anyone who “publicly defames the Republic”, including the government, parliament, or army, can be fined €5,000 (AUD $8,219), per Italy’s criminal code. The country also upholds strict libel laws.
Prime Minister Meloni is the head of the Brothers Of Italy party and currently leads the most right-wing coalition government the country has seen since World War II.
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Meloni, Italy’s first-ever female Prime Minister, assumed office in October 2022 after running a campaign to limit and overturn immigration and “return” to “traditional Christian family values”, modifying LGBTQ+ policies, NME reports.
Representatives for Molko declined to comment on NME’s story about the singer being sued by the Italian Prime Minister.
Placebo released their long-awaited eighth studio album, Never Let Me Go, in March 2022 (and it rules). They’re not the only band getting into trouble with a right-wing government – Behemoth vocalist Nergal can relate. Last May, he was acquitted of blasphemy charges in his home country of Poland in a win against censorship in art.
In November 2022, Placebo’s sold-out UK tour came with a request: for fans to put away their phones during concerts.
Some fans expressed disappointment with the band’s no-phone policy, with one commenting, “I get it, Brian may not be a fan of phones, but at the end of the day, we're the ones spending our money for them. We're entitled to the opportunity to be able to carry a memory of something we enjoy.”
This year, Placebo celebrates the 20th anniversary of their 2003 album, Sleeping With Ghosts. You can listen to the album or head to the band’s merch store here.