The Malta Independent 18 June 2018, Monday

Equality commissioner condemns ‘sexist language’ by V18 artistic director to activist

Joanna Demarco Thursday, 26 April 2018, 09:28 Last update: about 3 months ago

Equality commissioner Renee Laiviera has condemned the 'sexist language' used by artistic director of the Valletta 2018 Foundation, Mario Philip Azzopardi, who described activist Martina Urso as 'a sorry bitch' after she partook in and filmed a protest against the sale of passports in London last Friday.

Approached by The Malta Independent for her reaction to the incident, Laiviera reiterated the need for public figures not to use sexist language: "The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) reiterates that persons holding public office as well as public figures should desist from using sexist language and be fully aware of their important role in promoting gender equality in society."

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This pejorative comment by Azzopardi came days after v18 Chairman Jason Micallef was slammed for similar behaviour by PEN international writers, local renowned artists and 72 MEPs from across political groups.

Azzopardi was commenting on a post shared on Facebook by his colleague Sandro Kitcher, who is part of the 'Special Events' team of V18. Accompanied by a photograph of the activist, the post read 'This is Martina Urso who was the brains behind yesterday's event in London with the aim of dirtying Malta's name, be ashamed if you know how to be Martina, traitor, you are indebted to the Maltese and Gozitan population, Malta despises you!!'

Kitcher shared this post with his own caption stating 'Shame on you'. Azzopardi commented on the post saying "Just pathetic. What a sorry bitch."

A request for a reaction has also been sent to Minister for Equality Helena Dalli.


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