Actress Pia Zammit has spoken out publicly for the first time after losing a libel case against a Maltese newspaper that she says slandered her and implied she was a Nazi sympathiser.
Thanking people for showing her support, Zammit said she’d held back from “screaming from the rooftops” following today’s decision and is seeking legal advice for her next step – but had some choice words on freedom of speech.
The case revolves around a local newspaper, It-Torċa, who had published a backstage photo of Zammit dressed in WW2 garb as part of a the comedy show ‘Allo ‘Allo, which is about the French resistance during the German occupation of France.
Since today’s court decision, Maltese artists have come out in droves to show solidarity with Zammit – and she wanted to send a message to them.
In the wake of the court’s decision, many Maltese artists took to social media to post photos of themselves acting as characters in plays alongside cheeky remarks that they aren’t the person they dressed us.
Many were waiting on authorities like Arts Council Malta or Teatru Malta to come to Zammit’s support – however, the pair issued a lukewarm statement that was roundly criticised by actors.
“Arts Council Malta and Teatru Malta maintain, that together with the Government they will continue to ensure that the artists’ fundamental rights are strengthened furthermore in the future, especially since the last couple of years have seen the execution of necessary legal reforms, particularly related to the changes in laws related to the rights of artists and the Media and Defamation Act,” they said.
“Would love to see the version of this that didn’t go through two lawyers and three communications coordinators,” remarked actor and director Philip Leone-Ganado.