State TV won't show Miss Italia; pageant unhappy

ROME (AP) — The organizer of Italy's Miss Italia beauty pageant is criticizing a decision by state-run TV not to broadcast this year's contest.

The move apparently reflects efforts to improve the image of Italian women, who are frequently portrayed on Italian TV as sex objects, as well as a nod to dwindling viewer interest.

Miss Italia's finals have been shown on RAI TV for 25 years every September. But RAI's director general Luigi Gubitosi said Tuesday that the "format by now has become outdated."

Scantily-clad women are a mainstay of much of Italian TV, with quiz shows and talk shows featuring leggy showgirls in the background.

Contest organizer Patrizia Mirigliani blasted the decision, telling The Associated Press that RAI should instead try to update how its emcees present the pageant.

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