A video showing CNN anchor Chris Cuomo threatening to throw a man down a flight of stairs after the man called him “Fredo,” surfaced Monday night on social media outlets.
In the profanity-laced clip, Cuomo is seen confronting a man who appeared to call him “Fredo,” a reference to a character in “The Godfather” novel and movies.
During the confrontation that reportedly took place in Shelter Island on Long Island, New York, Cuomo likens the use of the word “Fredo” toward Italians to the use of the N-word toward African Americans.
“Are any of you Italian?” Cuomo asked the group of men involved in the confrontation. “It’s an insult to your people. ... It’s like the N-word for us."
Fredo Corleone is the inept son of the “Godfather,” Vito Corleone, who is passed over for leadership of the Mafia family upon his father’s retirement.
The video was first tweeted by Ryan Saavedra, a Daily Wire reporter. The Daily Wire is a conservative website. According to Saavedra, the video was recorded on Sunday.
“No, punk-a-- b-tches from the right call me Fredo,” Cuomo tells the man in the video. “My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from ‘The Godfather.’ He was that weak brother, and using it is an Italian aspersion."
The confrontation continued with Cuomo asking the man and others off camera if they were Italian.
“Any of you Italian? Are you Italian? It’s a f---ing insult to your people ... it’s like the N-word for us.”
“You’re a much more reasonable guy in person than you seem to be on television,” the man then says to Cuomo.
“Yeah, well, if you wanna play, then we’ll f---ing play,” Cuomo tells him.
The man tells Cuomo he doesn’t want to play.
“Yeah, well, you’re going to have a big f---ing problem,” Cuomo replies. “It’s a little different on TV. Don’t f---ing insult me like that. You called me Fredo. It’s like I called you punk b-tch. Do you like that? Do you want that to be your nickname?"
The man then denies comparing Cuomo to “The Godfather” character, claiming he actually thought his real name was Fredo. But Cuomo encourages the man to “own” what he said.
“What are you going to do about it?” the man says.
“I’ll f---ing ruin your sh-t, man,” Cuomo tells him. “I’ll f---ing throw you down these stairs like a f---ing punk.”
Twitter users quickly jumped into the fray, many condemning Cuomo for linking the term Fredo with the insult of the N-word against black people.
Both President Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted about the Cuomo video.
Does CNN’s head of PR still think “Fredo” is an ethnic slur after watching this? Because if it’s the N word for Italians like @ChrisCuomo says, I don’t understand why Chris seems so at ease with someone saying it here. An excuse just as fake as his news. #FredoCuomo https://t.co/8G8yuY80CK pic.twitter.com/1gwVyDVCob— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 13, 2019
Donald Trump Jr reminded Cuomo that he did not object to the use of the term Fredo when a guest on one of his shows in January when CNN political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas said on “Cuomo Prime Time” that Trump Jr.'s “only call to fame was being his daddy’s son. ... He didn’t even make the cut that his brother-in-law and sister did to be part of the Oval Office and the White House staff. Daddy kept Fredo back home.”
Trump Jr. said he didn’t understand “why Chris seems so at ease with someone saying it (the word Fredo) here.”
On Monday morning, President Trump tweeted, "I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings.”
realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019
Cuomo did have some support from social media. Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, whose nightly show goes head-to-head with Cuomo’s at the same time weekday nights, tweeted his support.
“I say good for @ChrisCuomo.” The tweet read. “He’s out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jackass in front of his family. Imho Chris Cuomo has zero to apologize for. He deserves the apology.”
It was not the first time Cuomo linked a personal insult to the use of the n-word. In February 2017, he apologized for saying that calling journalists “fake news” was “the equivalent of the n-word for journalists, the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity.”
You can view the video here. The video contains expletives.