Two of the most prolific figures in Hollywood and sports were mistaken for poor immigrants while vacationing in Italy.
Actor Samuel L. Jackson and sports legend Magic Johnson sat on a bench after their shopping sprees at Louis Vuitton and Prada (casual) and were immediately swarmed by fans.
The photo of the GOATS was shared on social media, and some Italians, unfamiliar with the pair’s fame, assumed they were immigrants who just went on a shopping spree on the government’s dime.
Italian comic actor Luca Bottura turned the photo into a meme as a social experiment, saying “Boldrini’s resources in Forte dei Marmi shop at Prada with our €35. Share this picture if you are outraged.”
Boldrini refers to Italy’s current President of the Chamber Of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, who is an advocate of the county’s open migration policy.
The image went viral and served as a case study to unveil the underlying xenophobia against migrants to the country.
Bottura wrote in response: “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).”
Bottura’s experiment did the work of exposing inherent bias, while confirming to Black Americans worldwide that even if you in a Benz, you still a n*gga in a coup (Kanye said it).