American actor John Travolta found himself at the center of an Italian controversy on Friday, after he wore shoes from famous designers and performed the “duck dance” contrary to his taste during the famous Sanremo music festival.
The consumer advocacy association Codacons announced that it had referred the matter to the Public Prosecutor's Office and the competition watchdog due to “disguised advertising” after the “Saturday Night Fever” actor wore sneakers from an Italian brand on Wednesday during the broadcast of this program. Tens of millions of viewers follow the festival every year on the public channel Rai1.
It was a new model offered as a “preview” by Italian manufacturer U-Power, whose owner was sitting in the front row of the gala that evening.
The brand had also previously announced that it would be promoting its products on the same day at the Ariston Theater in Sanremo, Codacons reported.
Kodacons said in a press release that it wanted to clarify “the many ambiguous aspects of the matter related to John Travolta's performance,” without specifying whether its approach was aimed at the actor, the brand or the TV channel.
The Italian press also spoke widely on Friday about another controversy related to the star of the “Pulp Fiction” series.
In Sanremo, festival presenter Amadeus and comedian Fiorello danced to the Italian version of the song “Duck Dance,” surrounded by dancers dressed as giant chicks.
At the end of this scene, which sparked ridicule on social media, Travolta refused to sign an agreement allowing the images to be rebroadcast, according to what Rai1 channel anchor Eleonora Daniele said.
Ray clarified on Friday that the agreement between the channel and the Hollywood actor is only related to broadcasting the live sequence.
The video has since been removed from Rai1's website but has gone viral on streaming platforms.
“If Travolta doesn't like it, it's not my fault. He was warned, no one forced him,” Amadeus defended.
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