‘Godfather’ Actor Slams Chris Cuomo Over Viral Video Showing Him Threatening Man Who Called Him ‘Fredo’

August 19, 2019 Updated: August 19, 2019

An actor who appeared in “The Godfather” criticized CNN’s Chris Cuomo over Cuomo’s expletive-riddled rant he went on after being called “Fredo,” a reference to a weak character in the movie.

Cuomo was called “Fredo” at an event and let loose, accusing a man of using an ethnic slur akin to calling black people the “N-word.”

Cuomo, the younger brother of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, hosts “Cuomo Prime Time” on CNN. Gianni Russo played Carlo Rizzi in the 1972 film “The Godfather.”

Russo said that Cuomo’s father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, wouldn’t have liked how Cuomo reacted.

“I can’t believe he would say that. I knew the whole family—his father would smack him,” Russo told TMZ. “First of all, it’s a classic film, you’re talking about a character who’s weak.”

“He’s hurt his career … All these news guys are getting so opinionated, they’re supposed to report news, it’s not about what you think, and you’re taking Fredo, a character from a classic…” Russo added.

He repeatedly said that Cuomo was wrong to believe Fredo is an ethnic slur against Italians.

The video showing Cuomo exploding after being called Fredo went viral last week.

“Punk [expletives] from the right call me ‘Fredo.’ My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN,” Cuomo told the man and his companions after being called the name.

“Fredo is from the Godfather. He was that weak brother, and they use it as an Italian aspersion,” Cuomo, the brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, continues. “Are any of you Italian? It’s a [expletive] insult to your people. It’s like the N-word for us.”

He later threatened them, saying, “I’ll [expletive] ruin your [expletive]. I’ll [expletive] throw you down these stairs like a [expletive] punk.”

A CNN spokesman defended Cuomo’s behavior and the network hasn’t commented since then. Cuomo said in a statement that he should have been “better” but did not apologize.

CNN critics piled on, including President Donald Trump.

“I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Aug. 13. “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!”

He later added to reporters at the White House: “I think that what Chris Cuomo did was horrible. His language was horrible. He looked like a total, out-of-control animal. He lost it.”

“And, frankly, I don’t think anybody should defend him because he spews lies every night,” he added. “So I don’t know why anybody would defend him. But Chris Cuomo was out of control. I watched it. I thought it was terrible.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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