Three finalists for Grande Fratello, the Italian version of Big Brother, “were threatened by a group of masked far right-wing protestors demanding cheaper housing for low-income families,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Members of Fiamma Tricolore (Tri-colored Flame) “used knives to puncture the clear plastic bubble that housed the Rome set in which the three finalists for slots on the program were living. All three fled as the giant bubble slowly deflated and the protestors distributed pamphlets outlining their housing demands,” the paper says. The material they distributed “said it was unfair that the ‘Grande Fratello’ cast will live for the next several weeks in an apartment that was nicer than the average Italian could afford.”
The Guardian reports that “live footage was quickly blacked out as chanting protesters stabbed holes in the bubble using knives according to press reports,” although the group “denied knives were wielded.” Later that night, “the student had been voted into the Big Brother house, set up at Rome’s Cinecitta film studios, joining an entire Sicilian family and a transsexual from north Italy among other contestants. The protesters, meanwhile, marched away in triumph across the nearby Roman Milvian bridge.”
Big Brother besieged by far-right protest [Guardian]