TALE E QUALE, OR NOT REALLY?
Blackface and the construction of Mediterranean Whiteness on Italian television
In November 2020, on the Italian national television broadcast Tale e quale show (TQS), participant Sergio Muñiz imitated Tunisian-Italian rapper, Ghali, with a performance that received backlash from Ghali himself because of its use of blackface. This is not the first time that blackface was used on TQS, but the first time that it was used to imitate an Italian artist. In this paper, I analyze what implications this performance has from the perspectives of Cultural Studies, History, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. I argue that the performance invokes Mediterranean Whiteness to differentiate North-Mediterranean populations from their racialized South-Mediterranean ‘Others’.