American actor John Travolta found himself at the center of an Italian controversy on Friday after he performed a “duck dance” wearing designer shoes against his taste during the famous Sanremo music festival.
After the “Saturday Night Fever” actor wore the Italian brand's sports shoes during a broadcast of the festival on Wednesday, consumer protection association KodaCons announced it had referred the matter to the state prosecutor's office and the competition watchdog for “disguised advertising.” Rai1 is a public channel with tens of thousands of viewers every year.
It was a new model, presented as a “preview” by the Italian company U-Power, whose owner sat in the front row of the gala that evening.
According to Kotakans, the brand announced in advance that it will be promoting its products on the same day at the Ariston stage in Sanremo.
In a press release, the KotaCons Association said it wanted to clarify “many unclear aspects of the matter related to John Travolta's performance”, without specifying whether its approach was aimed at the actor, brand or television channel.
The Italian press also widely reported on Friday another controversy involving the “Pulp Fiction” star.
In Sanremo, festival host Amadeus and comedian Fiorello danced an Italian version of “The Dance of the Ducks” among dancers dressed as giant chicks.
At the end of the sequence, which caused joy on social networks, Travolta refused to sign a contract authorizing the re-broadcast of the films, according to Roy1 channel anchor Eleonora Daniel.
Roy explained on Friday that the agreement between the channel and the Hollywood actor was only for the telecast of the live show.
The video has since been removed from the Rai1 website, but has gone viral on streaming sites.
“If Travolta doesn't like it, it's not my fault. He was warned, no one forced him,” argued Amadeus.
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