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"Date Night" Bigotry

Letter to the Editor, USA Today, April 13, 2010

In the new film Date Night, Steve Carell and Tina Fey play a married couple who are chased by a fictional Italian thug named Miletto ("Mistaken identity turn this "Date Night" into a madcap romp, Life, Friday). This may seem a minor point but, once again, subtle Hollywood bigotry against Americans of Italian descent is on full, hypocritical display. Ironically, although the film features yet another crude Mafioso stereotype, the leading man, Carell, is a real-life Italian American from Massachusetts. The family surname of Caroselli was shortened to Carell.

Naturally, Carell is not allowed to play what he is--a normal American of Italian heritage. Instead, we get Ray Liotta as the thug Miletto. Amazing that Hollywood screenwriters continue to get away with demonizing an entire people in a age of so-called cultural sensitivity.

And it's even more amazing that Liotta is still playing an Italian thug 20 years after Goodfellas in 1990. Typecasting, anyone?

Bill Dal Cerro, President, Italic Institute of America, Floral Park, N.Y

 
 
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