Chazz Palminteri Bill de Blasio

Actor Defends Columbus: ‘They’ll Have to Take Me Away in Handcuffs’

“A Bronx Tale” writer and star Chazz Palminteri is currently no fan of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I am really p***ed,” the New York native said in an interview with WABC radio on Monday. The actor is not happy with an 18-person committee appointed by de Blasio to decide whether statues of Christopher Columbus should be removed from the city.

“How can you appoint 18 people who are going to judge what Columbus means to us? You’re going to pick up 18 people and tell us what our New York values are?” said the 65-year-old Palminteri, who also starred in the hit film “The Usual Suspects” and was nominated for an Oscar for “Bullets Over Broadway.”

Palminteri had actually declined an invitation to be honored last week for "Chazz Palminteri Day" at de Blasio's annual Italian heritage reception at Gracie Mansion.

"I told Mayor de Blasio, 'No thank you.' I stand by our community," he said, adding, "Maybe I was going to be used as a pawn."

Palminteri said those who criticize Columbus today and work to dismantle the Columbus Day holiday are holding the explorer to an impossible standard.

"Adolf Hitler loved Henry Ford. Should we take the name off the cars?" he asked. Palminteri added that if he saw de Blasio at the New York City Columbus Day parade, he'd refuse to shake his hand.

"I won't shake his hand. I can't. I respect the office. I'm sorry, Mayor, you've got to say something. Strap on a set of b****," he said.

The first meeting of de Blasio's committee is to be held on Tuesday. Palminteri said if the group tries to remove statues of the Italian-American explorer — he will be there to intercept.

"I will be in front of the statue. They'll have to take me away in handcuffs."

(photo credit, homepage images: Chazz Palminteri..., CC BY-SA 3.0, by David Shankbone)

Last Modified: October 9, 2017, 6:42 pm

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