Gov. Cuomo came out swinging in defense of his TV host brother Chris Cuomo who got embroiled in a nasty confrontation with a stranger who called him “Fredo.”
The governor insisted he’s never even watched The Godfather, where the supposed slur originates, from start to finish and said their famous dad refused to watch the film on principle.
“Italian Americans are not Mafia,” Andrew Cuomo told WAMC radio. “Don’t you dare liken my family to the family you saw in The Godfather or the The Sopranos.”
Andrew Cuomo said bigotry and slurs aimed at Italians is as dangerous as xenophobia and anti-Semitism, citing the mass shootings in El Paso and at a Pittsburgh synagogue last year.
“It’s all ugliness,” he said.
Along with “Fredo,” which refers to a thick-headed character in the famed mafia flick, Andrew Cuomo railed against the use of other anti-Italian insults, like “wop” and “dago.”
Chris Cuomo, a CNN host, exploded in rage on Aug. 12 when the stranger accosted him in a restaurant in an apparent stunt for a right-wing YouTube show. Spewing threats and expletives, he threatened to beat the man and compared “Fredo” to the “N-word.”
He later apologized, saying he should “be better than what I oppose.”
The governor’s comments on Monday were prompted by an upstate newspaper columnist who mocked Chris Cuomo for overreacting.
Casey Seiler, writing in the Albany Times-Union over the weekend, said “Fredo” is not an ethic slur and was rather used as a dig about Chris Cuomo’s supposedly being less bright than his older brother.
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