Worried About Italian Stereotyping In “Shark Tale”? Get Serious…

Poor, sensitive Rosario Iaconis. It seems that he’s all upset about the new kids pic from Dreamworks, Shark Tale. Just take a look at this column and you’ll see how riled up some people get over kid’s movies featuring cartoon fish…

“Shark Tale,” an animated DreamWorks film that glorifies gangsters, celebrates violence and promotes anti-Italian bigotry to children, could well sever the mystic chords that bond Italo-Americans to their ancestral homeland.

According to published reports, the Italian government plans to grant “Shark Tale” star Robert De Niro honorary citizenship when he attends the movie’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week.

…The Italian government should not condone such profiteering at the expense of children. Italy’s Minister of Culture Giuliano Urbani should be excoriating De Niro. After all, alma mater Italia has long been the seat of civilization.

The actor’s film history of demeaning Italians is defamatory enough. However, employing his anti-Italian persona to peddle bigotry to kids – and cashing in on it – is morally perfidious.

The government should not grant De Niro’s honorary citizenship.”

So portraying some Italians as gangsters is supposed to be “anti-Italian bigotry”?

Ahem, let me counter that by saying…John Gotti. Heard of him? How ’bout Al Capone? Sammy “The Bull” Gravano? Frank Costello? Lucky Luciano? La Cosa Nostra? “The Family”?

If figures from the Italian Mafia show up in film, it’s because there have been plenty of Italian mobsters that caught the public’s eye over the years.

But, so what? That doesn’t mean the public assumes EVERY ITALIAN is a Mafioso. Heck, if people bought everything they saw in the movies they’d think all Japanese were in the Yokuza, every cop they ran into was corrupt, and every young, boy wearing glasses was a wizard who might cast a spell on them.

So Rosario, give everyone a break and stop the politically correct whining about the gangster sharks in this kid’s movie. It’s just no big deal…

Hat tip to Tongue Tied for finding this story.

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