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Italian-Americans Threaten 'Gotti' Boycott

Italian-American groups are threatening to boycott the sponsors of "Growing Up Gotti," (search) the new reality-TV series about mob daughter Victoria Gotti's (search) family, because it gives Italians a bad name.

Gotti, daughter of the late mob boss John Gotti (search), and her three teen sons are stars of the A&E show, whose debut this week drew 3.5 million viewers.

"Enough is enough," said Stephen R. Aiello of the National Italian American Foundation (search). "This show reinforces a commonly held belief that most Italian-Americans are either bums, bigots, buffoons or barely literate."

Dona De Sanctis of the Order Sons of Italy in America agreed that the show unfairly portrays Italian-Americans and said her group and Aiello's, along with the United Italian Community Organization (search), have been inundated with e-mails and phone calls decrying the show.

"The only reason A&E decided to make Victoria Gotti the star of a reality program is because she's a daughter of a man who has disgraced his family name and ethnic heritage," De Sanctis said.

"But Hollywood and TV have typecast us and keep turning mobsters into mythical figures. Tony Soprano and Victoria Gotti are not role models."

A representative of A&E Networks called the show a responsible portrayal of a single working mother who is raising three teenage sons.