Gianni Russo, who played Carlo Rizzi in “The Godfather,” ripped CNN’s Chris Cuomo over a viral video in which the television anchor claimed comparisons to the Mafia movie are equivalent to a racial slur.
In a video that circulated last week, a person is shown harassing Cuomo in public and calling him “Fredo.”
That was a reference to Fredo Corleone, the fictional weak brother in the movie who doesn’t get much respect from his father or anyone else in the family.
Cuomo lost it over that, threatening to “ruin” the man’s “s***” and adding quite a bit more in off-color language.
“It’s an insult to your f***ing people,” he also said. “It’s like the N-word for us,” Cuomo continued ranting, failing to grasp that it’s nothing like the N-word.
Russo, in a recent conversation with TMZ, explained that Cuomo’s reaction was confusing “because he’s such an intelligent kid, educated and everything else.”
He added that his father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, would be “ashamed of his son” for that.
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“I can’t believe that he would say that,” Russo said, adding, “I knew the whole family. His father would smack him.”
Russo slammed Cuomo for being an opinion commentator masquerading as a serious news journalist, and suggested that criticism of “The Godfather” is borderline blasphemy.
“All these news guys, they’re so opinionated,” Russo said. “They’re supposed to report the news. It’s not about what you think. And you’re taking Fredo, a character from a classic? It’s like spitting on the Mona Lisa.”
Cuomo’s brother, Andrew Cuomo, the current governor of New York, also decided to spit on the Mona Lisa of movies, calling it anti-Italian.
“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?'” Andrew Cuomo complained. “When you repeat the negative stereotypes, you are repeating the discrimination.”
“Don’t you dare liken my family to the family you saw in ‘The Godfather’ or ‘The Sopranos,'” the New York governor also said.
Despite Chris Cuomo’s feigned outrage, the anchor failed to take exception when a guest on his show compared Donald Trump Jr. to Fredo.
Does CNN’s head of PR still think “Fredo” is an ethnic slur after watching this? Because if it’s the N word for Italians like @ChrisCuomo says, I don’t understand why Chris seems so at ease with someone saying it here. An excuse just as fake as his news. #FredoCuomo https://t.co/8G8yuY80CK pic.twitter.com/1gwVyDVCob
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 13, 2019
In 1992, audiotapes surfaced between former President Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers, a singer, model and actress who revealed a sexual relationship with Clinton.
In the audiotape, Clinton claimed that Mario Cuomo “acts like” he has “some Mafioso major connections.”
This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.
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