Chris Cuomo is trending Tuesday after the CNN anchor of Italian descent likened a man on the street calling him the fictional character Fredo in “The Godfather” to people using the N-word.
“It’s like the N-word for us. Is that a cool f—–g thing,” Cuomo was shown asking in now viral cellphone footage posted on social media.
He is also seen in the footage threatening to throw the man who made the comment down the stairs.
Hundreds of people, including President Donald Trump, jumped in to give their two cents about the heated argument.
President Donald Trump called Cuomo’s language “filthy” and said it showed “a total loss of control” in a tweet Tuesday.
“He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon,” Trump said. “He’s nuts!”
In another tweet, Trump said: “I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings.”
In the video, a man can be seen explaining to Cuomo that he “honestly” thought the host was “Fredo,” a fictional character played by actor John Cazale in the film adaptation of author Mario Puzo’s mob classic “The Godfather.”
“No, punk a– b—–s from the right call me Fredo. My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN,” Cuomo said. “Fredo is from ‘The Godfather.’ He was a weak brother, and they’re using it as an Italian aspersion.”
Cuomo asked the man, who was with a group of other men, if he or anyone else is Italian. One person can be heard responding yes.
“It’s an insult to your f—ing people,” Cuomo said, making the n-word comparison.
One of the men then, told Cuomo he’s a “much more reasonable guy in person” than he appears to be on television.
Cuomo, who seems to perceive the comment as sarcasm, responded, “If you want to play, then we’ll f—–g play. If you’ve got something you want to say about what I do on television, then say it but don’t have to call me a f—–g insult.”
The man responded by saying he didn’t want any problems.
“You’re going to have a big f—–g problem,” Cuomo said. “Things are a little different on TV.”
When the man Cuomo argued with asked what’s the problem, the anchor pressed him to “own what you said,” and the situation quickly escalated to threats.
“I’ll f—–g ruin your s–t,” Cuomo said. “I’ll f—–g throw you down these stairs like a f—–g punk.”
“Please do,” the man said.
“Why, so you can f—–g sue,” Cuomo lashed.
He then, challenged the man to “take a f—–g swing,” and the footage got shaky. As a few men went to stand between the two arguing, the video ended.
Critics flooded Twitter with comments, some in support of Cuomo but mostly scrutinizing his comment as a false comparison.
Black right-wing provocateur and pro-Trump activist Candace Owens described Cuomo as a “thug” in a tweet Tuesday.
“I have long said that @CNN is the most racist network on TV. They use the history of black Americans as a shield so they can go after their opponents,” she said. “@ChrisCuomo claiming that ‘Fredo’ is the same as the N word, so he can feel righteous as he thugs someone—proves my point.”
Comedian Chris D’Elia echoed the sentiment but also said the man arguing with Cuomo wasn’t blameless.
“Hey ‘Fredo’ is not a racial slur. It’s hilarious and so dumb to say it is,” D’Elia said on Twitter. “Also, the dude who came up to @ChrisCuomo, antagonizing him was a prick. He deserved to be put in his (f—-n) place.”
New York radio host Mark Simone defended Cuomo on Twitter as a “great guy.”
“Don’t blame Chris Cuomo for getting upset. He’s actually a great guy in real life,” Simone said. “Don’t judge him by the crazy character he plays on TV.”
Cuomo said on Twitter after the encounter he wishes he had responded differently.
“Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me. This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family,” Cuomo said. “But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”