Amanda Knox sparks controversy by weighing in on viral op-ed complaining about Italian study abroad programme

‘Girl, what are you talking about? Studying abroad is awesome!’ Ms Knox wrote

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 15 March 2023 15:00 GMT
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Amanda Knox has sparked controversy after weighing in on a viral op-ed which complained about studying abroad in Italy.

Ms Knox spent nearly four years in an Italian prison after being wrongfully convicted of murdering her housemate, Meredith Kercher, while they were studying abroad in Perugia in 2007.

On Tuesday, Ms Knox, who is now a journalist, retweeted an essay by Stacia Datskovska, a New York University student who recently returned from a semester in Florence.

Ms Datskovska, a journalism and international relations major, wrote how she “hated every aspect” of it in an essay for Insider which subsequently went viral.

“Girl, what are you talking about? Studying abroad is awesome!” Ms Knox wrote on Twitter when sharing the essay.

The comment immediately caught significant attention with 1.7 million views and more than 12,000 likes.

“You have won the internet for the day, Amanda. You can rest easy,” freelance journalist Benjamin Ryan commented. He went on to call it “the ironic slay of the year”.

Variety features editor Malina Saval responded: “Your tweet deserves an award! (*This essayist sounds like an entitled, xenophobic, solipsistic brat. Or maybe just really depressed. She’s going to regret writing this. Ugh.)”

But Ms Knox’s tweet also generated significant criticism.

“It’s funny because my ‘friend’ was brutally murdered. Do you get the joke?” wrote independent foreign policy and security analyst Jimmy Rushton, who is based in Kyiv.

“Makes a lot more sense why she was initially found guilty when she be tweeting s*** like this,” London Evening Standard journalist Maddy Mussen added.

“The replies to this are the most the Brits and Americans have been apart on Twitter since the queen died,” David Walsh, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, replied.

“I don’t think I could make this joke if my roommate was murdered but enjoy the internet claps I guess,” Hannah Murray, a US and Australian literature teacher in Melbourne, wrote.

In her essay, Ms Datskovska complained about issues such as living with seven others in central Florence.

“My routine looked drastically different from that of my roommates. I had a GPA to upkeep and an online internship. I wasn’t out partying; I was home working most of the time, and it became difficult to concentrate on my assignments,” she wrote.

“The pressure to travel on weekends became too much,” she continued.

“Since three-day weekends are the standard for NYU’s study-abroad programs, almost everyone chose to take $20 Ryanair flights to places like Croatia and Munich for Oktoberfest,” she said. “To me, this seemed like an exhausting form of escapism. I was convinced my peers were doing it only to freshen up their social media profiles and make their friends back home jealous.”

The student also claimed that Italians were hostile and that she felt like she was “wasting precious time” in Italy as life continued in New York.

Ms Knox shared an apartment with fellow exchange student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, central Italy in 2007. On 1 November 2007, Ms Kercher, a British student, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in the home.

Rudy Guede was convicted of the sexual assault and murder of Ms Kercher in 2008. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison which was later cut down to 16 years. He was released from prison in November 2021, the BBC reported.

Ms Knox and her Italian boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, were separately convicted of Ms Kercher’s murder in 2009.

They both spent four years in an Italian prison before their convictions were overturned. Their final acquittal came in March 2015.

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