CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who lashed out in a profanity-laced, intense rant against a stranger who called him “Fredo” last weekend while out with his family, has received both support and backlash for his very public display of rage.
The latest person to criticize Cuomo for his caught-on-camera outburst is none other than Godfather actor Gianni Russo, who played Carlo Rizzi in the original film. The character was Vito Corleone’s wife-beating son-in-law, according to The New York Post.
When asked by TMZ if Russo thought being called “Fredo” was an insult, Russo explained that Cuomo’s father would be so ashamed of him for the way he reacted that he “would smack him.”
Russo and the TMZ reporter also stressed that “Fredo” means “weak brother” and is not an insult against Italian people — a claim that Cuomo insisted on while reacting to being called the name. Cuomo even went as far as saying the perceived slur was comparable to being called the “N-word” for Italians.
“Fredo is from The Godfather, he was a weak brother and the use of it to an Italian is disparaging,” Cuomo said in the video in the heated exchange with the man who called him the name.
The 75-year-old Godfather actor said he was taken aback by Cuomo’s reaction, admitting that he thought Cuomo would be intelligent enough to know it’s not the slur he apparently thought it was. Russo then took a jab at Cuomo’s career outlook.
“I couldn’t understand, because he’s such an intelligent kid, educated and everything else. I heard he’s hurt his career,” Russo said.
“All these news guys, they’re so opinionated. It’s not about what you think. And you’re taking Fredo, a character from a classic? It’s like spitting on the Mona Lisa.”
Cuomo later apologized for his reaction on Twitter after the shocking video went mega-viral across social media, writing that there is “no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”
The CNN anchor received what many thought was unexpected support from rival Fox News personality Sean Hannity, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. Hannity insisted in a tweet after the incident that it wasn’t necessary for Cuomo to apologize for his reaction because he was defending himself and his family.
Hannity also doubled down and said if anyone should receive an apology, it should be Cuomo.
CNN also defended their prime-time anchor in the wake of the video’s release, saying that Cuomo was “verbally attacked” with an ethnic slur in what they called an “orchestrated” confrontation.