Italian American anti-bias group blasts Nickelodeon, MarVista Entertainment and Viacom as “irresponsible” for racist depictions and stereotypes of Italian Americans aimed at young audience
NEW JERSEY – Calling upcoming film “Nicky Deuce” an example of one of the most irresponsible levels of broadcasting targeted at young children that will portray negative stereotypes about Italian Americans, Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition (IAOVC) President Manny Alfano called on Nickelodeon, its affiliates and parent company, to halt production of the movie.
“Nicky Deuce,” being produced by Nickelodeon (whose parent company Viacom infamously produces “Jersey Shore” with MTV) and MarVista Entertainment, is based on a children’s book by former “Soprano’s” cast member Steven Schirippa and co-author, Charles Fleming. The book is about a 12-year-old boy who spends the summer in Brooklyn with his Italian grandmother and Italian uncle, who he suspects is in the Mafia. While in Brooklyn, he meets any number of negatively-stereotyped Italian Americans, and befriends another Italian boy and begins his descent into a life of petty crime involving counterfeit bills and bootlegging.
The film, which was in production in Canada, is scheduled to debut on Nickelodeon this year. The production also announced the additional bad news that four “Soprano’s” cast members would also be starring.
“These trash-television purveyors now want to brainwash a new generation with this insidious and hurtful stereotype of Italian Americans,” Alfano stated. “We are appealing to all parents – please, don’t let your children watch this garbage.”
“Numerous studies since the advent of television have shown the impact this type of programming can have on the minds of young children,” Alfano said. “It is beyond reprehensible that a children’s network like Nickelodeon would so grossly abdicate any semblance of corporate responsibility and target young children with a racist, stereotypical movie on Italian Americans. This is gutter television at its very worst, and all parents whose children watch Nickelodeon should be forewarned about ‘Nicky Deuce.’ ”
Alfano noted that ONE VOICE is currently reaching out to educators, family organizations, and Nickelodeon’s sponsors regarding this matter. ONE VOICE opposed and criticized the book when it was released in 2005, and had completed a 26-page report which included the results of a questionnaire sent to educators and community activists. A summary is available upon request for those interested in its findings.
ONE VOICE’s sole focus and objective is to fight bias, stereotyping and discrimination against Italian Americans. It is the only national Italian American organization with this exclusive mission. ONE VOICE has activists and organization members across the country and issues a regular email newsletter, “The Alfano Digest,” to more than 5,000 individuals and Italian American organizations nationwide.
To join or obtain more information on The Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition, an IRS-registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, visit iaovc.org or follow ONE VOICE on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-770-3662
IAOVC Communications Director