Placebo Vocalist Brian Molko Under Investigation For 'Publicly Defaming' Italian PM

20 July 2023 | 3:05 pm | Mary Varvaris
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Molko called the new Italian Prime Minister a “fascist”, “racist”, and a “piece of sh*t”.


Placebo (Source: Supplied)

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Placebo vocalist Brian Molko is facing trouble after labelling the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, a “fascist”, “racist”, and a “piece of shit”.

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.

The incident occurred last week when Placebo performed at the Stupinigi Sonic Park festival in Nichelino, Italy. During a packed show, Molko told 10,000 fans what he thought about the country’s new Prime Minister.

As a result of his comments, Molko is now under investigation by prosecutors in Turin, Italy. Placebo’s upcoming concert on Tuesday, 1 August, in the Italian city of Sassari, is now facing backlash from Meloni’s supporters.

Mariolino Andria, a right-wing member of the Sassari city council, appealed to the Mayor, Nanni Campus, to “censor” Placebo from making any similar statements.

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 LGBTQ+ policies.

In November 2022, Placebo’s sold-out UK tour came with a request: for fans to put away their phones during concerts.

Some fans were unhappy with the no-phone rule, not because they planned to film the entire show, but because they felt the band lacked crowd interaction when on stage.

"Dear placebo band (aka Brian Molko), we'd love to feel this connection by having your interaction with your audience. Saying hello it's very polite and thank you doesn't hurt at all. Thank you," commented a fan on Instagram.

Another fan expressed disappointment at watching a video of Molko "berating" the audience in Brussels after some people used mobile phones. "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," they said.

Placebo released their long-awaited eighth studio album, Never Let Me Go, in March 2022 (and it rules). They’re not the only band that’s gotten 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.