People always say that The Godfather Part I and Part II are “guy movies” but I’ve easily seen both movies dozens of times. I love Al Pacino’s performance as Michael Corleone. I love Marlon Brando’s hammy performance as Don Vito. I love the iconic lines, and I even love Diane Keaton standing out like a sore thumb as Kay. But one of my favorite parts of both films is Fredo Corleone, played brilliantly by the late John Cazale, who died far too young (he was engaged to Meryl Streep too, you know). Cazale’s Fredo is ratty, shifty and weak. He ultimately sells out his family and his little brother Michael sends him out on a boat ride to nowhere. But Michael waited until their mother died, because that’s the code – you can only put a hit on your own brother after your parents have died.
So, I believe Italian-Americans when they say they’re offended by the mafia/gangster stereotypes perpetuated with The Godfather movies and other mob movies. I get it. But… I still enjoy the movies, sorry. Anyway, all of this to say that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo gets really offended when people call him Fredo. Cuomo is from one of the most well-known Italian-American families on the east coast. His family built their name and legacy in politics. Chris Cuomo is the brother of Andrew Cuomo, the current governor of New York, and son of Mario Cuomo (former governor of NY). Is Chris “the Fredo” of the Cuomo family? I don’t know and that question is probably quite offensive. It’s also offensive to go up to Chris Cuomo and call him Fredo. NSFW language:
A man in NY yesterday approached CNN’s Chris Cuomo and called him “Fredo”
Cuomo: “You’re going to have a problem”
Man: “What are you going to do about it?”
Cuomo: “I’ll fuckin ruin your shit. I’ll fucking throw you down these stairs”
Credit: “THAT’S THE POINT with Brandon” pic.twitter.com/4iWwzaSQpF
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 13, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. and the other Deplorables are trying to amplify this and make this into a thing, so that’s how you know it was a set-up. CNN’s statement confirms it too, with their official statement: “Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.”
The one criticism I have is that Cuomo seems to think “Fredo” is some kind of giant ethnic slur, which… to me, it’s far from the worst ethnic slur. But I’m not Italian-American, and I haven’t lived with those particular slurs and stereotypes all my life, so I’ll just shut my mouth. Obviously, Cuomo snapped. To me, it doesn’t really matter – this guy obviously got in Chris Cuomo’s face and called him “Fredo” as a way to try to instigate this kind of incident.Embed from Getty Images
Photos courtesy of Getty.