And maybe I’ve reached the tipping point after not really having had any reaction at all to “Jersey Shore” and similarly themed shows featuring Italo-Americans behaving badly.
You be the judge.
Would you want your kid watching this; and if you’re Italian American, how can you not feel a bit demeaned by this?
Manny Alfano, president of the nonprofit Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition, called on Nickelodeon, its affiliates and parent company, to halt production of the movie “Nicky Deuce,” which is based on a children’s book of the same name by former “Sopranos” cast member Steven Schirippa and Charles Fleming.
Several of “The Sopranos” cast members will appear in the movie. “These trash-television purveyors now want to brainwash a new generation with this insidious and hurtful stereotype of Italian Americans,” Alfano said. “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.”
The group has spoken out against other productions that it feels unfairly stereotypes Italian Americans. It earlier called on Nickelodeon to stop film production on “Nicky Deuce,” which it said offers a “racist, stereotypical” view of Italian Americans.
“Nicky Deuce,” is being produced by Nickelodeon and MarVista Entertainment. The book is about a 12-year-old boy whose summer math camp plans are changed at the last minute, sending him from his suburban New Jersey neighborhood to spend time with his Italian grandmother and uncle in Brooklyn.
The coalition describes the movie this way: “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.”
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.’”
He said that the coalition is “reaching out to educators, family organizations, and Nickelodeon’s sponsors regarding this matter.” He acknowledged that the coalition “opposed and criticized” the book when it was released in 2005 and sent a questionnaire to educators “and community activisits.”
Apparently their efforts fell short in 2005, but after watching the trailer, they may feel differently this time around.
I sure as hell did!