CNN Supports Anchor Chris Cuomo After Altercation Captured on Video

Chris Cuomo has long maintained a lean-in” anchor style while holding forth on CNN. A video released Monday shows he sometimes displays similar brio when he’s not behind the desk.

A video released by conservative media personality Brandon Straka shows an unidentified man baiting the network’s most-watched anchor at a party, calling him a slur and then arguing with him as others capture his response with recording devices. During a heated exchange, Cuomo establishes that someone called him “Fredo,” a reference to one of the characters from the 1972 film “The Godfather” that Cuomo says is considered by many Italian people to be an insult aimed at their cultural heritage.

The person Cuomo admonishes makes it clear later in the video he intends to use the images to get Cuomo in trouble. “Look at all these cameras. You’re in for it. You’re in for it,”  the man said. The man told bystanders that he thought “Fredo” was Cuomo’s name. Cuomo’s show was seen by an average of 954,000 people in July, according to data from Nielsen, which makes any claim that the man didn’t know who Cuomo was hard to believe.

Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur,” CNN said in a statement. “We completely support him.”

Others also lent Cuomo support in public – including Sean Hannity, the top-rated Fox News anchor whose program runs opposite Cuomo’s “Cuomo Prime Time” in the 9 p.m. time slot. “I say good for Chris Cuomo,” Hannity said via Twitter. “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.”

Cuomo on Tuesday apologized for his role in the altercation. “Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me,” the anchor said in a post on Twitter. “This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”



Popular on Variety

  1. In this time of volatile, incendiary words being spouted by our “leader”, whom I cannot bring myself to call call him “president”, we are constantly placed in a position of defending ourselves and our positions. Our ethnicity,our religion, our race. Someone has to crack and stand up to these hate mongers. Thank chris cuomo for your backbone. I admire the job you do, I’m sorry you must do it. I’m sorry these United states are not run by a MAN more like you. I have seen your empathy, sympathy, and your ire. you’re in my house every night and your honesty is always welcome. I hate that this happens to you when you go out in public with your family. I hate that people force us to defend ourselves constantly. Please keep up the faith, that there are people behind you, standing beside you, waiting for this carnage to come to an end. I’m afraid the scars left on the United states will be so deep, they may heal like an untreated broken bone, festering with putrid words til we lose a limb. We will never be the same. Trump has let loose a devil of hatred. I admire the job you do. I respect the stand you take. #letsgetatit

  2. Love the double standards on the Left… If the president threatened someone on camera, liberals would be marching in the streets. FYI: Fredo is not a racial aspersion

  3. Its obvious that Chris was set up. Good for you for calling them out on their BS. Just because you have a top position with CNN, doesn’t give assholes any right to ambush you & your family in public. Chris,you keep your head up high.people are intimidated by you because you keep things real & you care about truth & what matters. I watch your show all the time because of the reasons above. Good for CNN for having your back! Awesome 👍 never change you ok! You are what people need in this world & you have a beautiful family. That’s what matters

  4. 100% happy Chris Cosmos is back. He tells it like it is. He’s the voice of intelligent reason in all the craziness from the White House. I record his show for those times I can’t watch live.

  5. He is one of your best he tells it like it is and I love that thank you cnn for standing by him get him back on love from Canada

  6. I don’t blame Chris Cumo at all I think that man was very wrong for what he did..especially in front of his family. Please bring Chris Cumo prime time back.We miss him

  7. I also support Chris!! Hope the show is back on soon. Thank you CNN for upholding him. It’s not good TV without the whole crew, Chris, Don and of course-Anderson. You guys rock!! CNN has the best anchors in the world.

  8. I support Chris , if I’m out with my family enjoying family time. Then I myself would always ask that whom ever it is please respect my wishes keep my family out of your personal feeling. As a black man in America I wouldn’t want anyone calling me a racial slur in front of my family. Protect your family at all costs 🙏😇 . Hurry back. we miss you Chris.

  9. Chris Cuomo tells it like it is. In this era of bullshit it s refreshing to have someone strong, to the point. Someday he will be rewarded by his efforts to keep the country sane and truthfull

  10. The author of this article is obviously biased. The person asking Cuomo if he felt like “Fredo” not only didnt mean any harm, he apologized profusely when it became obvious that Cuomo has some inferiority complex issues. If Cuomo was planning on running for higher office someday, this tantrum put the kibosh on those aspirations! Putin, Kim Jong Il, the President of China, et al., would know just how to work him.

  11. Chris you are a true professional. Please don’t let anyone tell you different. Your interviewing skills are utmost fair and accurate. I will never stop watching.

  12. Chris Cuomo is a brilliant, classy, super journalist that stood his ground protecting his family. This is a man who will apologize for it all and proceed with CNN show better than ever and with multiply more followers and viewers of him nightly. Cuomo you are an amazing individual. God Bless you and your family!

  13. I deeply respect Chris Cuomo and watch his show often.He cares about this country and is a great journalist. I hope this blows over soon. He was unfairly baited and deserves our
    Support. Simply extortion by cell phone.

  14. Chris-
    You are “the BEST”!!
    Way to go at this PB.
    You and Don Lemon are my favorites!
    Bless you and your family!!

  15. Respectfully Chris, I wished the pos took a swing at you so you could of knocked his pos ass into next week
    Then throw some Chicken Alfredo down his pos mouth!! Apparently the pos learned crap from his pos parents!
    Being Italian is the best of the best, or it could be a curse, when it comes down to pos like that punk.

    You should of gone off on him in Italian. Show him who The Godfather is … Cheers to you Chris!

  16. Fredo Cuomo has been posting his gym workouts frequently lately and I have suspicions he may be exhibiting “roid” rage. Just saying but he’s been acting out aggressively lately.

  17. Yes, it was wrong what was said to Chris , but Chris Como should model better behavior – he holds the top news anchor position in the world – learning to ‘deescalate’ conflict is important for everyone in the times we are living.

  18. If it was Sean Hannity , Cnn Would run with the Story and would have condemn it. No spin.

  19. Chris is very thin skinned, just like his big brother. I am an American of Italian ethnicity and, contrary to the ignorant assertion to the contrary, “Fredo” is not an epithet against Italians; it’s origin (thanks to Italian American Francis Ford Coppola) is an homage to brotherly stupidity. Fredo was Michael’s brother in The Godfather. It’s an insult, but it’s not an ethnic insult. I believe this is Chris pulling his “ethnicity card”. To quote Uncle Junior in The Sopranos, “he’s such a ‘hot house flower’ .” If he lost his cool with his family in public, shame on him. If you are such a big media star, you should be able to keep your cool, especially with your family.

    • So typical. There’s always one poster who appoints themselves of what is a slur or not. Too bad no one taught you. May be all groups should get your ‘ok” before bringing it to light.

      • No, but they are largely loud-mouthed bigots, as you so ably prove by your post. You don’t even have the courage to post honestly, hiding instead behind an expletive label. I guess that probably means adding coward to those character traits.

More TV

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

  • ABC Studios Logo

    ABC Studios Head of Alternative Fernando Hernandez Exits

    ABC Studios’ head of alternative Fernando Hernandez has departed from his post at the Disney-owned television studio, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Hernandez’s exit follows an executive shuffling at the top in recent months that has included the departure of Amy Hartwick, ABC Studio’s head [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

  • TV Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville'

    TV News Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville' Role in 'Arrowverse' Crossover

    In today’s TV news roundup, Erica Durance reprises her “Smallville” role in the CW’s annual “Arrowverse” crossover, and Showtime shares with Variety an exclusive sneak peek at the return of “The Circus.” FIRST LOOKS “2020 is the most important election of our lifetime,” Alex Wagner says in a new trailer for the fourth season of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content