Italian-Americans Knock Oscar Noms

A D.C.-based Italian-American group has blasted the Academy Award nominations of “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather Part III,” claiming Hollywood’s portrayal of Italians as gangsters “calls into question the entire criteria used in choosing films for Oscars.”

In a statement, National Italian American Foundation vice-chairman Frank D. Stella said: “Since the days of Christopher Columbus, Italian-Americans have made distinct and enduring contributions to all facets of our society from medicine to public service to the arts. Yet Hollywood continues to be obsessed with presenting Italian-Americans as gangsters and criminals, and that is wrong.”

Stella said his group will try to contact the films’ directors and stars in hopes that, should the films be awarded Oscars, the individuals will recognize the “sensitivities” of Italian-Americans in their acceptance speeches.

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