An inappropriate video of Final Fantasy 7’s Tifa plays during a live-streamed and publicly broadcasted Zoom meeting of the Italian Senate.
Fan-made content is always an interesting topic, and popular games like Final Fantasy 7 have a lot of it. Plenty of fan art is perfectly wholesome and would be safe to show to children, co-workers, and even colleagues in an important governmental institution.
However, there is also a great deal of fan art that is decisively unsafe for work. This includes a rather indecent animation of Tifa from Final Fantasy 7 that someone showed during a meeting of the Italian Senate that was publicly broadcasted.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian Parliament relies on Zoom meetings to see to the important business of running an entire country. Yesterday, the Senate, the upper house of Italy’s Parliament, met over Zoom to discuss data transparency in politics. About 30 minutes into the proceedings, the Senators were preparing to hear the testimony of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Giorgio Parisi. However, partway through his introduction, an unknown person entered the call and began screen-sharing a sexually explicit video of Final Fantasy 7’s Tifa Lockhart.
The presumably fan-made video continued playing for a brief moment as Senator Maria Laura Mantovani and her assistant frantically attempted to get it off of the screen. The audio continued for several seconds after the image disappeared. To his credit, Doctor Parisi immediately resumed his prepared statement once someone managed to completely shut the offending video down. While that’s a genuine example of professionalism, one assumes it was a bit harder for the Senators to focus after several seconds of salacious material.
The embarrassing and inappropriate incident wasn’t contained to just the Senate either. The Italian Parliament was live-streaming the meeting to Facebook and the TV station Senato della Repubblica, the country’s equivalent of C-SPAN. Staffers edited the NSFW content out of the stream’s VOD, though not before internet users copied it to multiple other sites.
It’s unknown how the indecent video ended up in the Italian Senate’s Zoom call. Italian officials blame the incident on hackers, according to the Italian web publication Digital Daily where the story originated. Although, it’s possible that whoever set up the meeting dropped the ball when it came to managing its permissions. This would have opened the door for an anonymous internet user to stage their explicit prank.
Either way, it’s an embarrassing episode for the Italian legislature. As Digital Daily points out, it reflects poorly on the Senate’s ability to govern if it can’t keep unlicensed Final Fantasy 7 videos out of its official meetings. Either way, the incident is undeniably a memorable way to welcome 2022.