Coalition of Oldest and Largest Italian American Organizations Requests that AMC Add Disclaimer to ‘Godfather’ Trilogy and Similar Films Depicting Offensive Stereotypes

Jun 05, 2024 488

On Friday, the Italian American Leadership Forum (IALF), led by the oldest and largest Italian American organizations in the U.S. and representing more than 18 million Americans of Italian heritage, took proactive steps to mitigate harmful stereotypes of the Italian American community.

The IALF’s five founding organizations sent a letter to AMC Networks CEO Kristin Dolan on Friday, requesting the entertainment company include the following disclaimer before airing any of “The Godfather” films, or similar films depicting racial or cultural stereotypes. 

“The stereotypes and cultural clichés depicted in this work of fiction may be viewed as offensive and should not be considered an accurate reflection of any particular race or ethnicity. Viewer discretion is advised.” 

In the letter, the IALF expressed appreciation for AMC’s willingness to provide disclaimers ahead of films such as “Goodfellas,” but suggested an alternative text, which more accurately addresses the potential impact of cultural stereotypes featured in similar films. 

The IALF, while appreciating the artistic value of the Godfather films, requested the disclaimer to remind viewers that the fictional plot represents a very small segment of the Italian American population. The IALF stressed, however, that the disclaimer can be applied widely to other films featuring offensive stereotypes. 

Michael G. Polo, Chair of the Italian American Leadership Forum and National President of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, stated, "This is a moment for the Italian American community to come together and address harmful stereotypes. It's important for viewers to recognize that these films portray a fictional and limited view of Italian American life. Our request aims to ensure that the rich diversity of Italian American culture is accurately represented." 

The founding organizations of IALF include: 

The Columbus Citizens Foundation
The National Italian American Foundation
The National Organization of Italian American Women
UNICO National & UNICO Foundation
Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America: Supreme Lodge, Commission for Social Justice and Sons of Italy Foundation

Leaders of said organizations met on Friday, May 24 and Wednesday May 29 to finalize the letter, which was officially sent on Friday, May 31.

A copy of the letter can be seen by clicking here.

SOURCE: Italian American Leadership Forum

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