For Luigi de Magistris there's no doubt about it:every time a new episode of the television series is shown, the same evening there's a spike in violent incidents on the streets of Naples.
“Let's talk about the episodes of violence that increase on the nights the series Gomorra is shown,” De Magistris said on Italian radio on Monday.
According to the left-leaning mayor, a former magistrate elected eight years ago, the series is likely to “corrode the brains, souls and hearts” of young people, who he said become fascinated by the “symbols of evil and violence” on the show.
Naples has long been plagued by violent crime committed by gangs of teenagers, often under the age of 18 and referred to in Italian media as “baby gangs.”
Adapted from the international bestseller by Naples-born writer and journalist Roberto Saviano, the series is a raw and violent depiction of the daily life of the Camorra, the notorious local mafia.
With earlier seasons of the crime drama shown on Netflix, the fourth season of the international hit series is now being broadcast on Sky Atlantic.
De Magistris has previously criticised Saviano's work, accusing him in 2017 of “making money off the backs of the people of Naples.”
The often outspoken Neapolitan mayor continued his criticism of the show in a long Facebook post.
He demanded more help from the state to “prevent and suppress crime” in Naples and added that “in this way you also help us to destroy the shameful example set by the eroi di merde (“shit heroes”) of Gomorrah.”
In the post, he went on to describe the show as a “media drug” that is “likely to corrode the brains, souls and hearts of hundreds of very young people.”
“Don't make the mistake of underestimating this fascinating symbolism of evil,” he wrote.
“We did our part and will continue to do it, day and night. Naples is climbing unimaginable peaks of light so far,” he said of the city's ongoing struggle against organised crime.
The mayor added that the city is “still waiting” for additional police resources long promised by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
He went on to attack Salvini, whom he has clashed with before, saying the hard-right Interior Minister has made Italy less safe since he entered governmentr last year.
Mayor – Sindaco
Television series – serie televisive
Crime – delitto
Young people –giovani