CNN's Chris Cuomo made headlines over the weekend when he threatened to throw a man down the stairs for calling him "Fredo". The anchorman was filmed screaming profanities at a Trump supporter when the man approached him and called him Fredo at a bar on Sunday.
Cuomo embarrassed his employer even further by claiming the name "Fredo" is a racial slur to Italians just as the word "ni--er" is to Black people.
"They use it as an Italian aspersion. Any of you Italian? It's an insult to your f-cking people. It's like the N-word for us."
Fredo is a fictional character from The Godfather movies. He is the older brother of Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, whose real name is Alfredo Pacino.
CNN stood by Cuomo, saying he "defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him."
But Twitter users called out CNN and Cuomo for saying "Fredo" is an ethnic slur.
"Take it from an actual Italian, 'Fredo' is not racist against Italians. The Godfather has all Italian characters and one loser brother is called Fredo. That doesn't amount to the 'n word'. How is this even an issue?" tweeted Alessandra Bocchi.
Take it from an actual Italian, "Fredo" is not racist against Italians. The Godfather has all Italian characters and one loser brother is called Fredo. That doesn't amount to the "n word". How is this even an issue? pic.twitter.com/AUhLNm6iiZ
— Alessandra (@alessabocchi) August 13, 2019
Another Twitter user called Cuomo an outright racist for even comparing the two terms: "Did @ChrisCuomo just say that 'Fredo' is to Italians what the N word is to black people? The N word is a dehumanizing word used against blacks who endured years of oppression. Fredo is a term from The Godfather, referring to the dumb brother. Equivocating the two is pure racism."
Did @ChrisCuomo just say that “Fredo” is to Italians what the N word is to black people? Th N word is a dehumanizing word used against blacks who endured years of oppression. Fredo is a term from The Godfather, referring to the dumb brother. Equivocating the two is pure racism.
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) August 13, 2019
I don't believe I have to say this but: Fredo is NOT an anti-Italian slur. It means a stupid guy who doesn't know he's stupid. Frequently used on non-Italians like Don Jr.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) August 13, 2019
'The Root' writer Stephen A. Crockett, Jr. wrote:
"Cuomo's reaction is perfectly fine for me. I'm not Italian, so I'm not bothered by the word Fredo, but unless there is another Fredo who was stolen from his homeland, enslaved, beaten, ripped from his children and forced to watch as his wife was raped, then Fredo is nowhere close to the n-word."
CNN insiders now regret defending the hotheaded anchor when it was revealed he called himself "Fredo" in the past. Cuomo also allowed a guest, political commentator Anna Navarro, to refer to one of President Trump's sons as Fredo on his show.
According to Page Six, CNN staffers are "embarrassed" by the viral video.
They said Cuomo's encounter with the man "escalated way past where it needed to."
"It was embarrassing." one CNN staffer said, "It was an unforced error, and he gave the right - and the president - ammunition to use against him and CNN."
One Twitter user said Cuomo's unhinged reaction to the heckler was something he would expect from Fredo Corleone.
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