The bigotry of 'The Sopranos'
Voice of the People, New York Daily News, June 26, 2013
Stanley Crouch's equation of the late James Gandolfini with Louis Armstrong is as bizarre as it is offensive ("Satchmo, Soprano and our humanity," column, June 24). Satchmo used his musical genius to demolish racism. Gandolfini became an international star by resurrecting, reinforcing and institutionalizing a hurtful stereotype. Therein lies the secret of Tony Soprano's success: It's the bigotry, stupid. Having garnered record ratings via obscenity-laden violence, female nudity and serial misogyny, creator David Chase secured his place in the cable TV firmament by rooting his show in America's only socially acceptable prejudice — anti-Italian intolerance. Where else could viewers openly delight in ethnic defamation? Shakespeare had a phrase for such puerile fare: "The engendering of toads."
Rosario A. Iaconis
Italic Institute of America