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Official Statement on the A&E Television Networks Series “Growing Up Gotti”


Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

Attribute to: Frank J. Guarini, Chairman, National Italian American Foundation

At the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) we take great issue with the television program “Growing Up Gotti,” because once again this reinforces negative stereotypes of members of the Italian American community. Once again, Italian Americans are seen as either bums, bigots, or buffoons who are semi-literate and cannot put together a coherent sentence, and whose behavior is in no way representative of the behavior, values, and mores of the vast number of Americans of Italian descent.

The boorish, thuggish, disrespectful behavior evidenced by the sons on the show is in no way indicative of young Italian Americans.

Finally, this show perpetuates and reinforces the worst kind of negative stereotyping of Italian Americans. We continue to be saddened, displeased, and angered that in this day and age A&E Television Networks continues to perpetuate damaging and negative portraits of Americans of Italian heritage.

Washington, DC August 5, 2004