National Italian American Foundation Condemns 'The Sopranos'

Jan 12, 2000, 00:00 ET from National Italian American Foundation

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Italian American
 Foundation (NIAF) charged today that "The Sopranos" is damaging the image of
 the nation's estimated 20 million Italian Americans by using their religion,
 traditions, and values to make the series' characters and plots more credible.
     "Without the family dinners, the church confessions, the Italian phrases,
 the Little Italy neighborhoods, and the espresso coffee breaks, "The Sopranos"
 would be just another TV show glorifying violence," said Frank J. Guarini,
 NIAF chairman.
     "The character of Tony Soprano respects older relatives, cares about his
 children, and is loyal to his friends -- values that are instilled in most
 Italian Americans from childhood.  And yet this Italian American character
 heads a group of criminals involved in drugs, prostitution, loan sharking and
 murder.  Once again, the entertainment industry has equated being Italian
 American with being in organized crime to the detriment of millions of
 Americans of Italian descent," Guarini said.
     Over the past six months, the NIAF has aired its concerns with HBO and
 David Chase, the series' creator. Representing the NIAF at these meetings were
 NIAF Chairman Frank J. Guarini and NIAF President Joseph Cerrell.
     The NIAF also complained about the website of HBO's parent company, Time
 Warner, that had a glossary of terms from "The Sopranos" with words like
 "Stugots," "Ginzo gravy" and "Wonder Bread Wop."
     As a result of the NIAF protest, Time Warner has removed the offensive
 page from its Internet site and HBO has agreed to meet further with the NIAF
 to discuss ways to present a fairer portrait of Italian Americans on the
 network.
     The NIAF has joined an alliance of seven Italian American organizations
 that has met with HBO on this issue.  Today the alliance released a joint
 statement condemning the imbalanced portrait of Italian Americans presented
 in "The Sopranos" and other television programs.
     The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit
 organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage
 of an estimated 20 million Americans of Italian descent, the nation's fifth
 largest ethnic group.
 
 

SOURCE National Italian American Foundation
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Italian American
 Foundation (NIAF) charged today that "The Sopranos" is damaging the image of
 the nation's estimated 20 million Italian Americans by using their religion,
 traditions, and values to make the series' characters and plots more credible.
     "Without the family dinners, the church confessions, the Italian phrases,
 the Little Italy neighborhoods, and the espresso coffee breaks, "The Sopranos"
 would be just another TV show glorifying violence," said Frank J. Guarini,
 NIAF chairman.
     "The character of Tony Soprano respects older relatives, cares about his
 children, and is loyal to his friends -- values that are instilled in most
 Italian Americans from childhood.  And yet this Italian American character
 heads a group of criminals involved in drugs, prostitution, loan sharking and
 murder.  Once again, the entertainment industry has equated being Italian
 American with being in organized crime to the detriment of millions of
 Americans of Italian descent," Guarini said.
     Over the past six months, the NIAF has aired its concerns with HBO and
 David Chase, the series' creator. Representing the NIAF at these meetings were
 NIAF Chairman Frank J. Guarini and NIAF President Joseph Cerrell.
     The NIAF also complained about the website of HBO's parent company, Time
 Warner, that had a glossary of terms from "The Sopranos" with words like
 "Stugots," "Ginzo gravy" and "Wonder Bread Wop."
     As a result of the NIAF protest, Time Warner has removed the offensive
 page from its Internet site and HBO has agreed to meet further with the NIAF
 to discuss ways to present a fairer portrait of Italian Americans on the
 network.
     The NIAF has joined an alliance of seven Italian American organizations
 that has met with HBO on this issue.  Today the alliance released a joint
 statement condemning the imbalanced portrait of Italian Americans presented
 in "The Sopranos" and other television programs.
     The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit
 organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage
 of an estimated 20 million Americans of Italian descent, the nation's fifth
 largest ethnic group.
 
 SOURCE  National Italian American Foundation