Privacy Authority pulls ‘Hyenas’

Program claimed to expose drug use among politicians

A controversial TV program purporting to disclose rampant drug use among Italy’s top politicians was pulled from the airwaves Tuesday night, igniting a political debate pitting the public’s right to know against politicians’ right to privacy.

Producers of “Le Iene” (The Hyenas), which airs on Silvio Berlusconi’s Italia Uno channel, announced before the show’s scheduled airing Tuesday night that they had secretly tested 50 pols for drug use and 16 came up positive, 12 for cannabis and four for cocaine.

The results were obtained in dubious fashion. A reporter, claiming to be from the fictitious Fox TV, approached 50 MPs and asked them about the 2007 draft budget. During the interview, an assistant offered to wipe their brow. The cells collected were tested for drug residue.

Pierferdinando Casini, former president of the lower house of Parliament, told reporters, “The value of this experiment is precisely zero,” before adding drug use is not a joking matter.

With the veracity in question, the report still became a national news event, with politicians from both sides demanding the transmission be killed before it aired. The producers vowed not to out the suspected abusers. Still, the government’s privacy authority late on Tuesday decided to scrap the show, triggering a fresh debate.

On popular talkshow “Porta a Porta” Tuesday night, Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the Italian dictator and member of European Parliament, called the decision to pull the program “a disgrace” and proof the country is governed by “an illiberal regime.”

More TV

  • Issa Rae’s Talent Drive Leads to

    Issa Rae’s Talent Drive Leads to Sci-Fi Pilot ‘The Awoken’

    A controversial TV program purporting to disclose rampant drug use among Italy’s top politicians was pulled from the airwaves Tuesday night, igniting a political debate pitting the public’s right to know against politicians’ right to privacy. Producers of “Le Iene” (The Hyenas), which airs on Silvio Berlusconi’s Italia Uno channel, announced before the show’s scheduled […]

  • DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER

    Dubai: Festival President Abdulhamid Juma on Growing The Market And Opening to TV

    A controversial TV program purporting to disclose rampant drug use among Italy’s top politicians was pulled from the airwaves Tuesday night, igniting a political debate pitting the public’s right to know against politicians’ right to privacy. Producers of “Le Iene” (The Hyenas), which airs on Silvio Berlusconi’s Italia Uno channel, announced before the show’s scheduled […]

  • oprah actors on actors

    Oprah Winfrey to Receive 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globes (Watch)

    A controversial TV program purporting to disclose rampant drug use among Italy’s top politicians was pulled from the airwaves Tuesday night, igniting a political debate pitting the public’s right to know against politicians’ right to privacy. Producers of “Le Iene” (The Hyenas), which airs on Silvio Berlusconi’s Italia Uno channel, announced before the show’s scheduled […]

  • Robert Knepper

    Warner Bros. Finds 'No Evidence of Wrongdoing' by Robert Knepper on 'iZombie' Set

    A controversial TV program purporting to disclose rampant drug use among Italy’s top politicians was pulled from the airwaves Tuesday night, igniting a political debate pitting the public’s right to know against politicians’ right to privacy. Producers of “Le Iene” (The Hyenas), which airs on Silvio Berlusconi’s Italia Uno channel, announced before the show’s scheduled […]

  • ABC Pulls 'Great American Baking Show'

    ABC Pulls 'Great American Baking Show' Off Schedule in Wake of Johnny Iuzzini Sexual Misconduct Allegations

    A controversial TV program purporting to disclose rampant drug use among Italy’s top politicians was pulled from the airwaves Tuesday night, igniting a political debate pitting the public’s right to know against politicians’ right to privacy. Producers of “Le Iene” (The Hyenas), which airs on Silvio Berlusconi’s Italia Uno channel, announced before the show’s scheduled […]

  • Godless

    TV Review: 'Godless' on Netflix

    A controversial TV program purporting to disclose rampant drug use among Italy’s top politicians was pulled from the airwaves Tuesday night, igniting a political debate pitting the public’s right to know against politicians’ right to privacy. Producers of “Le Iene” (The Hyenas), which airs on Silvio Berlusconi’s Italia Uno channel, announced before the show’s scheduled […]

  • The Office

    TV News Roundup: Comedy Central Acquires All Nine Seasons of 'The Office'

    A controversial TV program purporting to disclose rampant drug use among Italy’s top politicians was pulled from the airwaves Tuesday night, igniting a political debate pitting the public’s right to know against politicians’ right to privacy. Producers of “Le Iene” (The Hyenas), which airs on Silvio Berlusconi’s Italia Uno channel, announced before the show’s scheduled […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content