Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday in a radio interview addressed at length the heated exchange his brother Chris had with a man who called him “Fredo” — a reference to the film "The Godfather" he said was demeaning to people with Italian heritage.
In the video, the CNN anchor says the label is an “aspersion” to Italians, a reference to a character from "The Godfather," and likened it to calling a black person “the N-word.”
Chris Cuomo acknowledged later in a tweet, “I should be better than the guys baiting me.”
His brother the governor, in an interview on WAMC, blasted a column by Albany Times Union Managing Editor Casey Seiler for what he saw as downplaying ethnic slurs like “dago.” His father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, battled anti-discrimination and baseless rumors he had ties to organized crime.
“They hurt him, they scarred him. Every Italian lives with it,” Andrew Cuomo said. “Don’t you glorify it, and don’t you repeat it, and don’t you institutionalize it.”
Cuomo repeatedly blasted the Seiler column, calling it “garbage,” and at one point seemingly conflated it with a New York Post front page last week that depicted Mario, Andrew, and Chris Cuomo as characters from "The Godfather."
“At this time in American society where you have Jewish people being shot in a synagogue and Latinos being shot in El Paso, there has to be more sensitivity to these stereotypes and discrimination,” Andrew Cuomo said. “It fuels the hate. Italian-Americans are not Mafia. Don’t you dare liken my family to the family in The Godfather or The Sopranos.”
Seiler, in a tweet, said he denounced The Post’s front page.
“Can someone offer a sense of what in my column is objectionable vis a vis the Cuomos?” he posted.