Hollywood actor, Samuel L. Jackson and basket ball legend Magic Johnson experienced first hand r*cism while on a vacation together in Tuscany, Italy.
The legendary NBA icon posted a photo of himself and the Oscar nominee sitting side-by-side on a bench with luxury shopping bags at their feet, while they sat on a bench together in Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany, Italy. While they sat there, fans flocked around to take photos of them. Magic Johnson shared the photo on his twitter page and wrote:
“Sam and I chilling out on a bench yesterday in Forte dei Marmi, Italy. The fans started lining up to take pictures with us.”
The photo quickly went viral after they were showcased these millionaires as a pair of “migrants” who were able to live lavishly only because they used money from the Government which they did not deserve.
The photo was made into a meme by Italian journalist Luca Bottura. The meme which was made in Italian read: “Government funds at Forte dei Marmi…they go shopping at Prada with their daily allowance of 35 euros.” The caption then encouraged viewers to share the meme if they were outraged by what the meme stated.
After the outrage, Bottura said many wholly misunderstood his intentions and instead expressed their “disgust” and “shame” at the two star’s extravagant shopping spree. Critics referred to the 35 euros paid by Italian citizens for accommodating refugees on EU quotas while venting their frustrations.
Once the meme went viral, a well-known singer and model named Nina Moric also shared it on her Facebook page and wrote: “To see migrants lounging around on benches in places like Forte dei Marmi, living off the 35 euros a day that they get from us, is really too much.”
After an outrage by Italians and other online users who called her out for her racist and ignorant comment, she insisted that her post was a joke and that she would never confuse Samuel L. Jackson and Magic Johnson for migrants because she used to live in the U.S. and knew the stars.
She later insisted her post was also a “social experiment”. She argued it was proof of the fact people use social media to “confirm their prejudices, regardless of what the truth is. None of us are immune to this phenomenon.” She added.
Oblivious to who was in the image, one critic said: ”Nina Moric is right and this is shameful … I am not racist, but I know there are people who really do not have money, while these wear branded clothes and relax”
Another added: “Immigration is crushing us”.
A lot of Italians went on both Magic’s Jackson’s page to express their sincere apology for the way their fellow countrymen treated them in regards to the meme.
Bottura later wrote on Facebook: “The meme has been shared thousands of times and 40 per cent of people understood the provocation, 30 per cent were outraged and 20 per cent thought it was a racist meme and that I had failed to recognise Samuel Jackson and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, (I will not reveal the 10 per cent).”
Neither star has reacted to the disrespect