Italo TV imports hit by dubbing strike

'Light,' 'Beautiful' forced into voiceovers, subtitles

MILAN — While the fate of several major fall releases hangs in the balance, popular TV shows already are suffering because of the ongoing strike of Italy’s dubbing actors.

“Guiding Light” has been airing from the beginning of the week on Mediaset’s Rete4 with Italian subtitles, while the “The Bold and the Beautiful,” the most popular soap opera in the history of Italian TV, has started showing Wednesday on Canale 5 with just voiceovers.

Thousands of TV viewers have called the network to protest.

TV viewers are not used to watching programs in their original language with subtitles.

While some theaters have started experimenting with subtitled film releases, television remains 100% dubbed.

All the actors working for the voiceover of the soap are foreigners based in Italy or Italians who live abroad.

“We have chosen to be fair with Italian dubbing actors who are on strike and with whom we are still in discussion,” Mediaset’s dubbing rep Antonio Restivo said.

In the meantime, some uncertainty is hanging over the release of “Saving Private Ryan,” which already has been pushed back from the original opening day in early October.

Other major releases affected by the strike and likely to suffer delays include Warner’s “A Perfect Murder,” UIP’s “Out of Sight” and Fox’s “The X-Files.” From Medusa, Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore’s English-language feature “The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean” is also at risk.

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