Netflix series signals racial breakthrough in Italian TV

MILAN (AP) — The Netflix series “Zero” that premiered globally last month is the first Italian TV production ever to feature a predominantly black cast. That is being seen as a bright spot in a bleak Italian television landscape where the persistent use of racist language and imagery is sparking new protests. Comedy teams in Italy are asserting their right to use racial slurs and make slanty-eye gestures as satire. Italy’s main state broadcaster RAI is advising against — but not banning — the use of blackface in variety skits. Antonio Dikele Distefano, who co-wrote the “Zero” series, says “the battle is to live in a place where we all have the same opportunity.”