By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published August 19, 2019
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., blasted "The Godfather" for repeating "negative stereotypes" about Italians following a viral confrontation involving his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, taking offense at being called "Fredo" by a heckler.
During a Monday interview on WAMC, the New York governor was briefly asked about a video where Chris Cuomo had a fiery exchange with a heckler who taunted the cable news anchor by referring to him as the "weak brother" from the Oscar-winning film, which he called a "slur" against Italians.
Although Gov. Cuomo didn't directly address the "Fredo" video, he expressed a similar sentiment to his brother, telling WAMC's Alan Chartock that the film repeats "discrimination."
"My father wouldn't watch the movie because it was anti-Italian. The stereotype is anti-Italian," Cuomo said.
“I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and said, 'In ‘The Godfather,’ who are you, which one are you, which character are you?' I had a battle with 'The Sopranos,' which was the same stereotype over and over and over, the Italian thug, the Italian Mafia... When you repeat the negative stereotypes, you are repeating the discrimination."
The top New York Democrat also mentioned that he had only seen "parts" of "The Godfather."
Last week, the "Cuomo Prime Time" host was seen in an unverified video responding to a personal attack, equating the term "Fredo" to the N-word.
"No, punk-ass b----es from the right call me 'Fredo.' My name is Chris Cuomo. I'm an anchor on CNN," Cuomo told the man. "'Fredo' was from 'The Godfather.' He was a weak brother and they use that as an Italian slur — are any of you Italian?... It's a f---ing insult to your people. It's an insult to your f--kin' people. It's like the N-word for us. Is that a cool f---ing thing?"