New York Governor Andrew Cuomo weighed in on his brother Chris Cuomo’s comments when asked about the CNN anchor’s sudden outburst at a man because he apparently called him “Fredo.”
During an interview with WAMC radio on Aug. 19, Andrew Cuomo expressed concerned about negative stereotypes Italian-Americans faces due to their popularization in films, saying that his father, the late former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, did not watch “The Godfather” due to its depiction of these stereotypes.
“My father wouldn’t watch the movie because it was anti-Italian. The stereotype was anti-Italian,” Cuomo, 61, said while maintaining that he has only watched parts of the movie.
“The power of these movies. I had a battle with ‘The Sopranos,’ which again was the same stereotype over and over—the Italian thug, the Italian mafia,” Cuomo said. “When you repeat the negative stereotypes, you are repeating the discrimination.”
“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?” he said.
Cuomo’s comments come after his younger brother, Chris Cuomo, 49, was caught on camera becoming visibly upset after a man called him by the nickname for the fictional character Frederico “Fredo” Corleone, the second child of a mafia family in “The Godfather.”
In the video, the man claimed that he thought Chris was named “Fredo.” This comment greatly offended the “Cuomo Prime Time” host leading to a meltdown where he threatened to throw the man down the stairs. During the incident, Chris claimed that “Fredo” was a racist slur which was equivalent to the N-word for African Americans.
After the video was circulated, many people came to Chris Cuomo’s defense saying that the anchor should not have been subjected to such conduct in front of his family. Meanwhile, others were more critical of Chris Cuomo for threatening the man, including President Donald Trump.
“Well, I think Chris Cuomo was so out of control that I would not have wanted to see a weapon in his hand,” Trump told reporters on Aug. 13. “I guess his fist is not a weapon or he would have done something. You know, he talked about it but he didn’t do anything.”
“But I think Chris Cuomo was very much out of control, actually,” he added.
Trump also took to Twitter to call out the CNN anchor’s behavior earlier that day. In one of the posts, the president questioned whether Chris Cuomo should be given a “red flag” for his rant while indirectly referring to the gun violence prevention laws.
“Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?” Trump wrote about Chris Cuomo, who recently held a town hall on firearms. Trump added, “Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”
Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019
“He’s saying ‘Fredo’ is an Italian insult. I want to hear from you. Is that an Italian insult, a slur?” a TMZ reporter asked Russo.
“I can’t believe that he would say that. First of all, I knew the whole family. His father would smack him,” the actor responded.
“Of course! I don’t understand why … first of all, it’s a classic film. You’re talking about a character that was weak,” Russo said later in the interview.
Meanwhile, Chris Cuomo responded to the video, writing in a post on Aug. 13: “Appreciate all the support but—truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me. This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”
Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me. This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) August 13, 2019
NTD reporter Colin Fredericson contributed to this report.